Urgent Care: Improving Patient Flow

Exploring patient flow trends within the hospital urgent care system.

Manchester Conference Centre – Thursday, 21st September 2017

The NHS continues to make headline news as it struggles to meet demands amidst the realisation that extra funding will not be forthcoming. Whilst the whole system is under pressure it is perhaps felt most profoundly in urgent care, more specifically accident and emergency departments of acute hospitals. However, the demand for urgent care arriving at a hospital’s front door and the patient journey from there on, creates and compounds difficulties in respect of maintaining a good flow throughout the hospital system right up to the discharge process.

As part of Open Forum Events’ health and social care portfolio, this year’s annual urgent care conference Urgent Care: Improving Patient Flow will focus on measures that can alleviate the congestion and successfully restore dynamic flow.

Open forum Event

The most recent Accident and Emergency Statistics publication shows that there has been a significant rise in the number of people attending A and E departments, despite constant efforts to reform the system and relieve some of the pressures by signposting to other areas of healthcare provision. The increase in footfall has had the knock-on effect of patients having to wait longer to be seen. This is the point at which good patient flow becomes compromised, as illustrated by a fivefold increase, over the last five years, in the number of patients waiting longer than 4 hours to be admitted as inpatients from the A and E Department.

Good flow requires space and in the case of a hospital this means beds. Over recent years bed occupancy has increased and coupled with an increase in length of stay as a possible consequence, the speed at which patients can be assessed, treated and discharged is delayed resulting in gridlock. Delayed transfer of care at the discharge stage further curtails bed capacity, as those medically fit to be discharged cannot leave the hospital due to a lack of an onward care package being in place or the absence of other necessary provision.

Some of the answers in overcoming the challenges in patient throughput lie outside the hospital environment. Reducing the attendances to A and E and expediting timely discharge can be greatly influenced with services offered by primary, community and social care providers.

The Urgent Care: Improving Patient Flow conference agenda has been developed to explore the current patient flow trends within the hospital urgent care system. Delegates will gain a greater understanding of how the problems occur from the start of the process, with the patient having attended the A & E department, through to the discharge process, returning back into the community and home. Our line-up of expert speakers will provide insight, opinion and stimulate debate as to how to relieve the burden on hospitals and reduce the pressures of compromised patient flow. We will showcase a number of initiatives and examples of best practice from throughout the health and social care system and there will be ample opportunity for interactive discussion and networking amongst fellow professionals and peers.

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Dementia 2020 Challenge

The challenge on Dementia 2020 contains over 50 commitments that together aspire to make England the best country in the world for dementia care and support, for people with dementia to live; and to conduct dementia research. The 50 commitments are split across four themes: risk reduction, health and care, awareness and social action, and research.

Implementing the Challenge
13th of April 2017
Royal Society of Medicine, London

The Implementation Plan published on 6th March 2016 sets out how these commitments will be met. It sets out priority actions and the organisation responsible, across 4 themes:

Risk reduction

  • Health and care
  • Awareness and social action
  • Research

The 2020 Challenge spans five years and has two clear phases:

  1. Up to 2018 – this covers the immediate actions both Government and delivery partners will take over the next 12-18 months to improve dementia care and support, awareness and research.
  2. 2018-2020 – this covers longer term actions that will deliver all of the 2020 Challenge commitments.

Progress in both phases will be monitored by the Dementia Programme Board, chaired by Jane Ellison MP, Parliamentary under Secretary of State for Public Health, and comprising senior leaders from many of the partner organisations involved in the 2020 Challenge.

In addition, the Government, working with key delivery partners, will establish a Citizens’ Panel of people with dementia and carers to regularly review the progress.

Dementia
A full formal review of the Implementation Plan will take place in 2018, using the findings of the Citizens’ Panel, wider engagement and range of data and measures.

This conference will review and assess the actions included in the Implementation plan, providing the necessary transparency to ensure that its actions – and later updates – make a real and lasting difference to people with dementia, their families and their carers.

Through our inaugural conference in London and the accompanying Northern version, we have ensured that the leading stakeholders are convened to discuss the progressions to date. These activities have empowered hundreds of health and care professionals with valuable insight on future policy aspirations for 2020 and beyond. The huge success of these conferences also enabled Govconnect to utilise its social status and reinvest back into many community projects and national charities.

This Implementation Plan was agreed by each delivery partner, and signed off by the Dementia Programme Board and Ministers. However, engagement with delivery partners was only part of the process.

There was extensive engagement, with people with dementia and carers, the engagement sessions were focused on what people living with dementia and carers felt were the key priorities in the 2020 Challenge that will make the biggest difference to them. The following priorities were identified:

  • Better support for people with dementia and their carers following diagnosis.
  • People with dementia being able to live in their own home independently for longer.
  • Improved waiting times for diagnosis, applied consistently and country-wide.
  • GPs ensuring continuity of care.
  • All people with dementia being given the opportunity to plan ahead at the right time through advanced care planning.

Govconnect recognise the importance of engaging with service users; dedicated breakout sessions during the conference coordinated by Dementia UK, and the DEEP and Tide networks will allow attendees from NHS, Local Government and community care settings to engage with people living with dementia and carers.

Now in its second year Govconnects Dementia 2020 series of conferences continue to develop a nationwide community of conference delegates, online users and wider stakeholders who together strive to create a society by 2020 where England is the leading country in the world for dementia care and support, for undertaking research into dementia, other neurodegenerative diseases and for people with dementia, their carers and families to live.