Downloading PDF

Responding to the challenge of discharging patients during COVID-19

Responding to the challenge of discharging patients during COVID-19

Home » Case studies » Responding to the challenge of discharging patients during COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak placed an unprecedented strain on the health and social care system. A coordinated and well-managed response by NHS Midlands and Lancashire and adam has meant that patients were placed into care faster than ever before with providers able to demonstrate both compliance as well as the ability to meet the patients’ assessed needs.

Background

In March 2020 the Government published its COVID-19 Hospital Discharge Service Requirements, placing an immediate requirement on clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to arrange the transfer of patients from hospital as soon as it was clinically safe to do so.

It was anticipated this would take no more than three hours, following discharge from the ward. At the time of the COVID-19 outbreak, NHS ML delivered a full tech-enabled CHC service to eight customer CCGs across the Staffordshire and Merseyside regions.

The solutions in place covered a population of 11.6 million, with thousands of active patients under management, and approximately 700 referrals and 360 new placements per month.

Action

NHS ML liaised with local bodies across the care sector to share important information with their providers. The team at adam took the lead in distributing communications, establishing which would be relevant to specific providers within the region. Subsequent to ths, distribution of communications could be automated, improving staff productivity.

After the intial phase was over, NHS ML and adam used their Provider Management Tool to help collect data from providers. A survey was sent out via the tool which allowed immediate distribution and management of queries and responses. The responses allowed NHS ML to create a daily dashboard to show where the virus was in the community, and thus where it was safest to move patients to.

Time to place was a key priority. Whilst the solutions NHS ML and adam deliver to CCGs accelerate the placement process, additional efforts were undertaken to improve placement speed. Whereas typically around 50% of CHC placements come from hospital, approximately 75-85% of all referrals during March and April were for patients in an Acute setting.

All patients had to be easily identified as COVID-19 patients, so the adam team amended the system within two hours to establish a new DOH stage. This allowed easier management for NHS ML and easier reclamation of funds later where appropriate.

NHS ML was able to further reduce time to place despite the case load more than doubling. With a robust and technology-enabled process, the team in place could take on the additional workload without a long lead time or extensive training.

During March and April NHS ML used the adam commissioning solution to source 1721 placements which represented a 108% increase on normal levels. A new process was established whereby the technology was used to source open care home beds for patients, with calls starting after 60 minutes to supplement the options sourced. Using data held around capacity and availability of local beds, calls were able to be focused on providers most likely able to take new patients.

Impact

With the fast response of NHS ML and adam, time to place for patients needing care homes beds decreased to a customer-wide average of three days.

With the teams working flat-out to engage local providers and ensure that patients were being kept away from local breakouts, they were still able to source two different options per patient on average.

Despite caseloads more than doubling during March and April, the time to place patients during this period was halved. As a result, providers have been able to demonstrate both compliance and the ability to meet the patients’ assessed needs.

Working at scale and underpinning process with technology has allowed CCGs to benefit from a robust and scaleable service offering, able to withstand the most serious of events.

For more information

For more information and to learn how we can help your organisation, please contact us.

View all

News and views

News

NHS Midlands and Lancashire’s Digital Data and Technology Directorate Awarded “Towards Excellence in Digital…

We are excited to share that our Digital Data and Technology (DDaT) directorate has been formally presented with…

News

New Podcast: Revolutionising patient engagement and care with personalised healthcare videos

Join host Richard Caddy for another thought-provoking session in our latest podcast with our Digital Innovation Unit. Tune…

News

Enhancing our expertise in Workforce Planning to meet growing needs

NHS Midlands and Lancashire (ML) are excited to announce that we’ve secured five places for members of our…

View all

How we can help health systems

Business enabling services

Delivering a wide range of support functions through transactional services, business partnering and transformation that drives efficiencies and releases value and time…

Learn more about Business enabling services
Business enabling services

Clinical redesign and provider collaboration

Redesigning how health and care works across England - placing people at the centre of their own health and care and utilising…

Learn more about Clinical redesign and provider collaboration
Clinical redesign and provider collaboration

Communications and engagement

Supporting ICSs with approaches to design and deliver effective communication, engagement and behavioural insights as a key enabler for system change and…

Learn more about Communications and engagement
Communications and engagement

Developing health systems

Acting as an independent and trusted partner within the system to facilitate working across stakeholders and integrate elements of the provider system…

Learn more about Developing health systems
Developing health systems

Digitally enabled transformation and IT

Digitising care and partnering with systems for the transformation of digitally enabled service delivery (and other supporting processes) across vision, planning and…

Learn more about Digitally enabled transformation and IT
Digitally enabled transformation and IT

Personalised healthcare commissioning services

Providing end-to-end funded care services, including patients as active partners in identifying their healthcare needs and then commissioning care to meet these.…

Learn more about Personalised healthcare commissioning services
Personalised healthcare commissioning services

PHM analytics and decision support

Applying intelligence-led understanding of the health of the population to support the redesign of care and improve patient and financial outcomes across…

Learn more about PHM analytics and decision support
PHM analytics and decision support

Place and primary care transformation

Supporting providers to work together at a place and neighbourhood level to manage common resources, integrate community teams, improve health and reduce…

Learn more about Place and primary care transformation
Place and primary care transformation

Workforce resilience and transformation

Supporting systems to build a sustainable and integrated workforce, transforming systems, organisations and the workforce experience to improve resilience.

Learn more about Workforce resilience and transformation
Workforce resilience and transformation
MLCSU

Accessibility Tools