Patients are spending less time in hospital due to innovative new scheme

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) has recently adopted an innovative new way of working which has seen a significant reduction in the amount of time patients have to spend on wards.

Known as Achieving Reliable Care (ARC), this strategy has been adopted by the Trust in order to better coordinate teams, care and treatment. The intention is to make every day of a patient’s journey more productive, with clear milestones communicated throughout. Ultimately, following this new method enables wards to increase their efficiency and reduce any unnecessary delays, getting patients home both safer and sooner.

Since implementing ARC in eight areas, the Trust has seen a considerable reduction in the amount of time that patients stay at the hospital. Although the scheme is still being piloted, 2397 bed days have been saved, the equivalent time to treat an additional 258 patients. The project has been so effective that one particular ward has managed to decrease their length of stay by 30%.

Cindy Storer, Head of Nursing and Quality for the Trust’s Musculoskeletal and Frailty (MSK) Care Group, said: “ARC has completely changed how we do things within our rehab, orthopaedic and elderly care wards. It really helps to organise everyone so that quality patient care is moving forward at all times.’’

‘’As well as improving staff efficiency, ARC also delivers numerous benefits for the patients themselves. If they are discharged promptly and on time, then they are less likely to be exposed to infections, suffer from a fall, or encounter any other problems associated with a prolonged hospital stay. It’s a simple change which has made a huge difference to the care and experience of our patients.’’

Using ARC, a visual strategy is produced whenever a patient is admitted to a bed. This bespoke plan details all of the actions that are required for an individual to be successfully discharged, in a timely and safe manner. By allocating timescales, ARC makes it clear to staff what needs to happen and when, so that clinicians can work together to ensure that essential tasks are completed on each day of the patient’s care.

Cindy Storer and Senior Sister Becky McCombe also travelled to the Microsystems Festival in Sweden, where they presented this positive work to an international audience.

David Purdue, Chief Operating Officer, said: “The implementation of ARC has been a huge success at the Trust. I want to extend my thanks to Cindy and her MSK colleagues for their hard work, dedication and commitment to constantly looking for ways to develop services for the benefit of our patients.”

A number of improvements have been seen within elderly care at DBTH, with some wards going 4 years without a serious hospital-acquired pressure ulcer. This is in addition to the adoption of campaigns such as #EndPJParalysis – a novel and engaging scheme which encourages patients to become active participants within their own recovery.