The National Emergency Pressures Panel, chaired by Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, have made a series of recommendations to help hospitals manage the sustained pressure on services over the winter period. The measures are intended to help increase capacity, minimise last minute cancellations and ‘ensure patients receive the best possible care over this challenging period.’
- Extending the deferral of all non-urgent inpatient elective care to 31st January. It should be noted that cancer operations and time-critical procedures would not be affected.
- Deferring day-case procedures and routine outpatient appointments to release clinical time for non-elective care.
- Prioritisation of flu vaccination of all front line staff.
NHS England says that the clinical time released from the above actions should be re-prioritised to:
- Implement consultant triage on arrival at the Emergency Department.
- Ensure consultant availability for phone advice for GPs.
- Maximise the usage of ambulatory care and hot clinic appointments as an alternative to Emergency Department attendance and/or hospital admissions.
- Increasing support from Allied Health Professionals for rehabilitation and discharge.
- Staff additional inpatient beds.
- Ensure twice daily review of all patients to facilitate discharge.