Coping with the winter pressures

At Wiltshire Health and Care, we are working with our partners to manage the pressures that winter brings and playing an important role in helping to ease the increasing demand on the health and social care system in our region.

For some of our teams, one of the first tasks in the morning is to collate figures on team capacity.  Some examples of this includes the number of staff and planned visits in community teams, the number of staff in our Minor Injury Units and the bed state in our inpatient wards. These figures are then collated to give our Operational Pressures Escalation Level (OPEL) status which is recorded at a national level.

The information is also passed to a multi-disciplinary team based in the Integrated Control Centre at Chippenham Community Hospital (pictured).  This has been established in the last four weeks and is coordinating efforts across Wiltshire Health and Care and our partner organisations such as Wiltshire Council, the Wiltshire CCG and Medvivo.

The team’s purpose is to support timely and appropriate patient flow ensuring that everyone receives the right level of care in a suitable environment.  Some of the options they explore and implement include support from the relevant community team, referral to Home First or a placement in a nursing home.

This team works closely with the Great Western Hospital, Royal United Hospital and Salisbury Foundation Trust to understand their bed states.

Through this collective effort we are helping to ensure that patients are discharged from hospital as soon as practical whilst they continue to receive the level of care they need.