Hope in battle against hospital waiting

WAITING hours in A&E could be slashed by a new initiative at Ipswich Hospital launched today.Consultants on the front line and a paramedic hot line to coronary care wards are all part of a £20,000 project to improve life for patients being admitted in emergency situations.

WAITING hours in A&E could be slashed by a new initiative at Ipswich Hospital launched today.

Consultants on the front line and a paramedic hot line to coronary care wards are all part of a £20,000 project to improve life for patients being admitted in emergency situations.

The project called I.D.E.A. (Ideal Design of Emergency Access) goes down to grass roots level listening to patients and front line staff to see how they think things should be done.

One of the ideas is to give paramedics a hot line to coronary monitoring units to take people with severe chest pains to the ward straight away without having to wait vital minutes to be booked in. The length of time to discharge patients has also come into the spotlight and lockable drugs cabinets next to patients' beds are to be introduced so pharmacists can replenish drugs during their stay instead of the patient waiting hours at the pharmacy.


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Another pilot scheme is having senior staff and consultants in A&E who can look at the patient and can decide whether they need an x-ray, treatment or can just go home rather than people having to wait several hours to see them. Some patients can also be given their own records which will enable them to be treated as soon as possible and doctors will know straight away what their problems are.

The project tracked the journey of a patient from home to the hospital to see what process they had to go through.

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Caroline Driver, Senior Lead Nurse, said: "The best thing is that we have considered patients' views. Until we have looked at the patients' journey you can't really appreciate what they experience."

Rachel Hawkins, who is Director of Service Modernisation and Best Practice for Ipswich PCT and is the leader of the project said: "By identifying where delays occur in a patient's journey we have been able to make quite simple changes to the way we work to ensure people receive faster access to care."

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