Accident and emergency patients arriving by ambulance are experiencing faster handover thanks to an innovative nursing change, according to Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust.
The trust has introduced the role of nominated handover nurse, resulting in its performance on handover times improve dramatically since the spring.
“We have seen a dramatic reduction in handover time for patients”
It has introduced the role on every shift at both its Scunthorpe and Grimsby accident and emergency departments to ensure it is a “smooth and swift as possible for patients”.
The trust noted that the target was for patients to be handed over within 15 minutes, but there were times when this stretched to over 30 or 60 minutes.
Alex Afifi, group manager for acute care, said: “By ensuring there is a named contact and handover team on every shift for the crews to handover to and oversee the handover process we have seen a dramatic reduction in handover time for patients since this was introduced in mid-May.”
Before the change Scunthorpe and Grimsby hospitals lagged behind the 21 other hospitals that the East Midlands Ambulance Service covers.
“Within the region we were in 19th and 20th position for Grimsby and Scunthorpe but since we have made the change we have moved to first and second position respectively from mid-May,” said Mr Afifi.
Vanessa Tasker, matron at Scunthorpe Hospital, added: “We know handover between ambulance staff and our staff can be delayed when we are busy and we do try to minimise delays wherever possible but sometimes they are unavoidable.
“We will continue to work on improving the handover process to make it as efficient as possible,” she said.
The trust noted that its A&E attendances had increased considerably over the last two years.
In 2015-16 150,288 people attended one of the trust’s A&E departments, compared with 144,996 in 2014-15 and 137,842 in 2013-14.