The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust is playing a huge part in helping to keep Yorkshire ambulances on the road.
An initiative at the Trust sees a dedicated flow nurse greet all ambulances on arrival to take responsibility for the patient, freeing up the paramedics to get back on the road as quickly as possible when they have made their vehicle ready for the next patient.
The flow nurse was introduced 12 months ago at Pinderfields Hospital as this was where the pressures to meet the target for taking handover within 15 minutes was being felt most.
Since the changes Pinderfields Hospital has seen a sustained increase in performance – the average number of patients handed over within 15 minutes each month for the six months prior to the changes was 1,300 and for the last six months the average was 2,400.
Stacey Howell is one of the senior nurses in the ED at Pinderfields who regularly fulfils the flow nurse role. “Before we introduced this system we could often find we had lots of ambulance crews waiting in the department for someone to hand patients over to,” she said.
“Having one nurse, who takes responsibility for this, works so much better. It means patients aren’t left waiting on trolleys and we are able to start assessing their needs and planning their care much more quickly.”
A screen in the department shows Stacey how many ambulances are on route to the ED and how far away they are, enabling her to ensure she is ready to receive them.
Once the ambulance arrives the paramedics give Stacey the history of the patient so she can assess if they need to be in resus or cubicles. The patient is booked in at reception and together, Stacey and the paramedic check out the ambulance on the screen. The ambulance is then free to get back on the road.
Stefan Frankowiak, Locality Manager (Wakefield) at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “Effective handovers from the ambulance service to hospital emergency departments are an integral part of delivering the best clinical care for patients and this initiative at Pinderfields Hospital has had a really positive impact. It is particularly beneficial during times of high demand when we need our ambulances to be available as quickly as possible to respond to the next emergency.”
Photo: Stacey Howell, Sister in the ED at Pinderfields Hospital, booking in a patient with YAS Paramedic Philip Coulson.