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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Latest improvement project at West Cumberland Hospital improves patient care

Latest improvement project at West Cumberland Hospital improves patient care

Posted on Thursday 29th March 2018

An improvement project at West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven is aiming to improve care for surgical patients by increasing patient flow and reducing surgical cancellations. 

A Rapid Process Improvement Workshop (RPIW), supported by the Cumbria Learning and Improvement Collaborative (CLIC), was held last week and focusses on positive transformations in health and care. 

The workshop provided a very intensive five-day improvement plan and an opportunity for staff working in the surgical department and wards to take time out to discuss the main obstacles they face within their day-to-day roles. They looked at how the obstacles could be reduced to improve efficiency and prevent operation cancellations. 

The team, including medical, nursing, allied health professional staff and a patient representative, worked together to identify where improvements could be made to patient flow – patients moving from pre op, to theatres and then into recovery – and any bottlenecks which existed so they could operate theatres more efficiently. Their overall goal is to ensure that there are no elective surgery cancellations on the day of the operation by June 2018. 

The team also identified where other efficiencies could be made such as standardising documentation, reducing board rounds to increase staff time with patients, and reducing the amount of unnecessary equipment on the ‘blood trolley’. 

Andrea Tomlinson, chief matron for surgery at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said: “The week was a fantastic opportunity to get everyone together and really think about what improvements we could make for our patients. 

“The enthusiasm and energy of, not only the people directly involved, but across the all the different departments was amazing. They really threw themselves into it and came up with some fantastic ideas. 

“The improvements we have made will have a real positive impact on patients and we have identified efficiency savings for the Trust so it really is a win-win.”

Angela West, healthcare assistant on Ward 1 at West Cumberland Hospital, said: “It was great to be involved with the workshop and work with people from across the hospital on different ideas and ways to help improve patient care. 

“I look forward to being involved in the reviews and find out what impact our improvements have made.”

Further to this week, the team will hold 30, 60 and 90 day reviews to ensure all improvements identified are continuing to be implemented.