The second Emergency Department (ED) regional collaborative event supported by the Oxford AHSN took place on 16 March 2018 at the Madejski Stadium, Reading.
It was hosted by Royal Berkshire ED led by Dr Manish Thakker ED Consultant and Laura Seymour, Practice Development Sister.
Approximately 60 staff from Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes, Royal Berkshire, Oxford and Frimley NHS trusts came together to share excellence and innovation in practice and learn from each other.
Quote from one attendee: ‘It is inspiring and humbling that Emergency Departments are so keen to share ideas and seek solutions’
Royal Berks Chief Executive Steve McManus opened the event highlighting the difficulties of maintaining patient safety in the challenging environment of the ED and the importance of leadership and an open culture where the freedom to speak up is supported at senior level.
Steve encourages Royal Berks staff to apply for funding to support projects designed to improve quality and safety in patient care through the Chief Executive Transformation fund of £1 million.
The theme of the day was caring for vulnerable patients within the ED with a diversity of presentations illustrating the fantastic work happening throughout the region.
- Frailty Pathway: RBH presented their innovative work on the development of their frailty service over the last three years and shared key tips for success and avoiding pitfalls. Many of the attendees expressed interest in implementing this work in their own trusts noting the positive impact of dedicated frailty practitioners and consultant support which ensures that frail and elderly patients are managed on the appropriate pathway.
- ‘Frequent attender’s initiative: The Royal Berks described the impact of the development of a multi-agency forum where representatives from acute, community, police and voluntary services meet to address the meaning of attendances and develop bespoke care plans for each patient.
- Volunteering within the ED is a well-established co-production service within Royal Berks.
One attendee commented ‘Co-production is a must in everything we do, without it you can have a beautiful plan/policy to be implemented, if it’s not developed with patients in the end it will still fail.’
- The Pictorial Exchange Communication System (PECS) a communication tool for patients with severe learning difficulties/autism was shared by the Bucks team and developed from the lived experienced of the clinician and her severely autistic brother.
- Frimley Health shared the development of their Alcohol Liaison Service and the importance of the role of the Alcohol Specialist Nurse in securing a reduction in the number of patients who present to their ED with alcohol related health needs.
Ian’s story, describing his recovery from alcohol dependence to his current life of secure employment and work as a peer supporter and mentor, was described as ‘very moving – makes you think about the person behind the illness’.
- The role of the ED Safety Practitioner as presented by Oxford University Hospitals is unique in the region and generated a lot of discussion among attendees. Discussing the impact of collaborative data-sharing on improving safety in the community with a reduction in ED attendances, there was much for the attending trusts to reflect on.
- The day was closed by a presentation from Oxford Health on ‘Broadening the network of partners to improve mental health are’ which highlighted the 10% increase in the number of patients presenting to EDs with mental health emergencies. Unmet needs, both psychosocial and patient experience, are helped by collaborative care planning and the presence within EDs of peer support from organisations like Mind.
Feedback from attendees described the event as insightful, refreshing, challenging and thought-provoking.