Burton Hospitals prepares for winter

Burton Hospitals prepares for winter
24 November 2016

Burton Hospitals is putting in place robust plans ahead of the busy winter period to ensure patients continue to receive high quality care. The NHS both locally and nationally is preparing to ensure that services across Staffordshire cope with winter pressures.

Burton Hospitals is working with partners to ensure that patients receive the most appropriate level of care for their needs, when they need it. Clinicians at the Trust are re-emphasising the message that they are here for the people of Burton, Lichfield, Tamworth and the surrounding areas when they need it the most. The plans include:

  • Working with Virgin Care and Staffordshire Doctors Urgent Care to improve urgent care services by continuing a streaming service in A&E and co-locating the out-of-hour service at Queen’s Hospital
  • Staff across the Trust making ‘pledges’ on what they will be doing differently with colleagues to improve care throughout the winter
  • Proactively encouraging staff, patients and the public to be vaccinated against influenza, to prevent the spread of this potentially fatal virus

Studies have found that, for a large number of patients – particularly those with long-term conditions – hospitals are not always the best place for their care to be provided. The Trust will be working with teams across the hospital to ensure that those who can be cared for outside of a hospital setting receive the treatment which best suits their needs.

Duncan Bedford, Chief Operating Officer at Burton Hospitals, said: “As a health service we regularly look at how we can best serve our patients and provide them with the high-quality, safe care. But we know that winter brings with it additional requirements as demand for services, particularly in urgent care, can often be higher.

“We’re trying to find ways of doing things differently and improving the care we provide to our patients on a day-to-day basis. The way we are going to do this is by working closely with our partners to prevent unnecessary delays.”

Dr Magnus Harrison, Medical Director, said: “The perception can be that all patients, particularly the elderly and most vulnerable, are best cared for in hospital but that’s not always the case. A patient’s physical capabilities – their ability to walk, climb stairs and look after themselves – deteriorates the longer they spend in a hospital bed.

“Therefore, we want to make sure that we can discharge these patients back to their home environment, where they want to be, as soon as it is safe to do so. That’s going to be one of our biggest challenges this winter. It’s an enormous challenge – not just here at Burton Hospitals but for the whole of the NHS.”

Paula Gardner, Chief Nurse: “The public play a vital role in keeping the NHS safe this winter by taking care of themselves, as well as looking out for the more vulnerable members of our society, such as children and the elderly.

“This includes utilising local GP practices, pharmacies and walk-in centres for injuries and illnesses which can’t be managed at home as well as simple preventative measures such as receiving the flu jab. I’d like to remind the public that A&E is for serious, life-threatening conditions that need immediate medical attention.”

The public can find out more on how to keep well and where to get expert advice at http://www.nhs.uk/staywell

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