Health Service Focus

06.11.19

NHS online training to reduce time spent in hospital

A collaboration between NHS England and Health Education England will help service and care staff to reduce hospital delays for patients.

Today (Nov 6) the two organisations have launched ActNow, an e-learning tool to work on getting people home from hospital quicker.

Around 350,000 patients spend over three weeks in acute hospitals every year. In some cases, a prolonged stay is necessary but, particular for older patients, staying too long can leave them vulnerable to infection.

According to research, more than one in three 70-year-olds go through muscle ageing as a result of extended periods in hospital. This number goes up to two thirds with those aged over 90, leaving the patient less mobile or unable to carry out tasks they used to manage.

These new measures aim to help tens of thousands more patients leave hospital as soon as possible as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.

NHS Staff are encouraged to ask the questions ‘Why not home? Why not today?’ every day when organising patients care recovering from an operation or illness, part of a campaign called ‘Where Best Next?’

With this new scheme, the plan is to save 140,000 people every year from staying in hospital for three weeks or more.

Five key principles have been identified when creating this new resource to ensure patients aren’t spending unnecessary time in the hospital.

  1. Plan for discharge from the start
  2. Involve patients and their families in discharge decisions
  3. Establish systems and processes for frail people
  4. Embed multidisciplinary team reviews
  5. Encourage a supported ‘Home First’ approach

 

Hilary Garratt, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer for England said:

 

“We want to ensure that all patients benefit from the shortest possible stay on a ward, getting home as soon as they are fit to leave with the support they need.”

 

“Not only is that better for them, reducing the risk of infection or loss of mobility for older people in particular, but it also means that more beds are available for others who need care too, easing pressure on A&E and other parts of the system.”

Completing this online course can be used as evidence of continued professional development and ongoing learning, making it mutually beneficial for patients and staff.

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