Press Release: New Way of Working Will Aim to Reduce Pressure on Emergency Department at RLI - 31 October 2017

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NEW WAY OF WORKING WILL AIM TO REDUCE PRESSURE ON EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT AT RLI

Starting this month, as part of a pilot service, identified GP’s based in the Emergency Department (ED) at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary will begin working in new ways to ensure people receive the right type of care for their condition.

People attending the ED at the RLI will be assessed by a triage nurse – who is already in place – within 15 minutes of arrival. The initial assessment will determine whether they need emergency treatment or are suitable to be seen by a primary care professional. This will assist to free up emergency department professionals to use their expertise to focus on major/life threatening health issues.

GPs will be sourced primarily from local GP practices and will be based in the minor injuries department each day. With support from the co-located out of hours primary care service, this service will be provided from 8.00am to 8.00pm, Monday – Sunday.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have asked hospitals around the country to provide the front-door clinical streaming service by October 2017 as part of the next steps on the five year forward view. The initiative aims to:

  • Bring Primary Care/GP and acute care services closer together, ensuring efficient use of the available expertise where it is needed

  • Ensure patients with time-critical and time-sensitive illnesses or injuries are prioritised in the A&E setting and receive the focus and expertise they need from ED clinicians

  • Ensure simple assessments, investigation and management of minor injuries are streamlined appropriately to utilise the expertise of GPs

Foluke Ajayi, Chief Operating Officer, UHMBT, said: "We welcome this new way of working at the Trust. We have faced increasing ED pressures over the past few years and as we come into winter, ED pressures will only heighten due to cold weather, respiratory infections as well as numbers of people suffering falls. The new way of working will ensure patients receive the right type of care for their condition and prioritise those most at need of emergency care The whole of our workforce is focused on improving the patient experience is winter."

Jackie Daniel Chief Executive, UHMBT, said: "This is a very positive initiative which uses existing resources a little differently. We are continuing to work very closely with our health and care partners in the Bay to improve care for our patients. Like the rest of the NHS, we are anticipating a busy and challenging winter and the safety of our patients remains our priority. We are hoping to do something similar at Furness General Hospital with a view to having it up and running before Christmas."

Dr Alex Gaw, Clinical Chair for Morecambe Bay CCG, said: "This innovative way of working allows us to utilise existing resources to help ease increasing pressures within the Emergency Department. We hope that the initiative; whereby we are working closely with our partner organisations, will enable people to see the right person in the most appropriate setting."

Notes to editors:

1. For further information, please contact the communications team on 01539 716675 or by email as indicated above.

2. For more information about Clinical Streaming in the A&E department go to https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/clinical-streaming-in-the-accident-and-emergency-department/

3. The 10 Bay Health and Care Partners are Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Lancashire County Council, Cumbria County Council, North Lancashire Medical Services (GP Federation) and South Cumbria Primary Care Collaborative (GP Federation).To find out more about Bay Health and Care Partners and the Better Care Together strategy log on to https://www.uhmb.nhs.uk/strategy/ or http://www.bettercaretogether.co.uk/

4. All GPs based within the Emergency Department are placed to treat patients with serious and life-threatening emergencies only.

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