Getting hospital patients better, quicker

Make sure all hospital patients get the right tests, expert advice and treatment as soon as possible, every day of the week

What we have achieved so far:

  • opened the UK's first ever ultrasound training academy to enable trusts across NW London to train and recruit more sonographers. This also improves patient care as more sonographers will be available to scan patients. Read more here.
  • introduced new radiography practice educator roles to support staff and improve patient experience.

This work was part of the radiology career framework launched in 2016 to address the high vacancy rates in our radiography departments, retain staff and increase career progression opportunities. 

  • piloted a seven day occupational therapy services in hospitals, which showed positive results for faster recovery for patients, it also got them home quicker and improved staff moral. The length of stay reduced by 10 per cent for those aged 65+.

We will continue to:

  • we continue to meet the 62 day cancer waiting target
  • get all hospital services working together, every day of the week, so people get better and back home again as soon as possible
  • make sure people get expert advice and treatment from the right clinician as soon as possible, every day of the week
  • make sure people get the right treatment from therapists if they need it, every day of the week.
  • reduce waiting times for things like blood tests and imaging scans, medications and transport.

It is better for people because:

  • they will receive the right treatment, from the right member of the clinical team, as soon as possible, every day of the week.
  • people will receive quicker treatment and recover sooner, so they can get home quicker
  • people are less likely to catch an infection, fall or get pressure ulcers at home than in hospital.

It is better for the health and care system because:

  • individuals will have a better overall recovery and their families and carers have a better experience
  • hospitals will run more smoothly, including scheduled operations and emergency care
  • staff workload will be better managed, with less stress and an improved experience.

Key facts:

  • a third of patients in a hospital bed today are medically fit to leave hospital
  • every day an older person stays in a hospital bed, they can lose 10 per cent of their muscle strength
  • trials conducted in NW London have shown that patients can get home up to a day earlier when hospital services work together properly every day of the week.

Expected outcomes:

  • people will have access to services, expert advice and treatment seven days a week
  • hospitals will run more smoothly, including scheduled operations and emergency care
  • patients will get better quicker and get home sooner.

Evidence:

Recent trials of new ways of running hospital services across the whole week in hospitals in NW London showed :

  • patients reported being less anxious as therapists and consultants were available at the weekend
  • up to 16 per cent reduction in the average time spent in a hospital bed
  • up to 14 per cent reduction in people returning to hospital once home
  • up to 25 per cent reduction in patients that were fit to go home but were stuck in hospital over the weekend due to lack of staff
  • more patients going home on Monday and Tuesday, rather than later in the week, due to treatment starting over the weekend
  • more patients going home before midday, because wards are running more smoothly.