Aqua are pleased to be partnering with North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) to try and improve hospital handover in emergency departments (EDs) and patient flow.
The national performance standard for ambulance handover at Emergency Departments (ED) is 15 minutes; it has been very difficult to achieve and sustain this in England due to capacity constraints within EDs and the acute hospital system.
The graph below shows the average arrival to handover times between April 2019 and January 2022 across the 30 North West ED’s.
The table below shows the arrival to handover position during 2021/22 and time lost to handover over 15 minutes.
Ambulance handover delays in ED’s can impact on both patients and services:
Improvement actions to reduce handover delays in ED
NWAS have introduced several successful initiatives in collaboration with acute NHS Trusts e.g.,
Despite these initiatives, patients are still waiting in the back of ambulances or ED corridors for many hours with the ambulance crew still present. To release the crews and meet the national 15-minute handover standard, NWAS and Aqua are working with all the acute trusts in the NW to introduce a handover escalation plan with clearly defined actions for NWAS and the trust, this incorporates the NWAS ambulance handover safety checklist. Supported by Gold Command or its equivalent in each county and by the CQC, the escalation action card was tested in GM hospital trusts in December 2021 and is adopted across the NW.
Adoption Roll Out Plan
To find out more about any of these initiatives to improve hospital handover and patient flow contact Manar.Aldean@nca.nhs.uk
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