Long Stay Wednesdays is an initiative launched in August 2018 at Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The purpose of Long Stay Wednesday is to give dedicated focus to those patients who have been in hospital for more than 21 days.
Rebecca Smith, coordinator at CHS Healthcare explains how it works and what impact it’s had.
We have been commissioned by Nene CCG to support patients being discharged from Kettering General Hospital into long term care placements, Discharge to Assess (D2A) for reablement or home with a package of care since December 2016.
At Kettering General, the CHS team are located within the integrated discharge team (IDT) and we work alongside the hospital discharge teams to help people out of hospital and back to their own home with support or into care. We liaise with patients and their families to understand what help they need and what type of care home would be the right fit. We also work extremely closely with local care providers so that we know what availability they have and what facilities they have to make sure we can provide high quality referrals and they can make decisions more quickly.
How do Long Stay Wednesdays work?
Each Wednesday a team of key senior staff meet with ward teams and us and look at what needs to happen to help patients to leave hospital.
The specific focus of the long stay team is on ‘super stranded patients’ – those who have been in hospital for more than three weeks. Often these patients have been in hospital for longer than usual for complex reasons including rehabilitation and challenges to get the appropriate support arranged outside of hospital.
What do CHS do to support Long Stay Wednesdays?
Our role at is to update the team and wards on any of the patients that we are working with. We also offer advice and challenge so the team can start to really understand why a patient is unable to leave. Sometimes we might suggest a different pathway for a particular patient and because we know the local care provision so well, we might have solutions that haven’t been thought of already – for example units and hospitals that are most appropriate for specific illnesses.
We screen all patients on to the Continuing Healthcare (CHC) D2A pathway. At Long Stay Wednesdays we can ask about CHC needs and if none present, we can suggest an alternative pathway.
We also manage all the self-funding patients. We regularly received self-funders that we can’t support as they don’t have capacity or power of attorney. We also support with family and choice delays by ensuring we involved the patient and their families in discharge decisions. Long Stay Wednesdays provide an opportunity to explain the challenges and to support the ward teams and social services colleagues.
Why are Long Stay Wednesdays important?
For me, Long Stay Wednesdays is a knowledge sharing day. By getting together and talking through patients we are able to agree the best, safest and quickest route out of the hospital. This means patients avoid yo-yoing between pathways.
I also feel that being a non-clinical member of the Long Stay Wednesday team is an advantage as we can see things in its simplest form and sometimes removing the medical aspect can make things a lot clearer. Our moto in Nene is very much “why?” which fits with Long Stay Wednesdays.
I am very pleased that the Long Stay Wednesday team has been recognised as a finalist for the HSJ Awards. Being part of the team is hugely rewarding and we have done an amazing job – in July 2018 Kettering General had an average of 195 super stranded patients on any one day – 12 months on this is 100 patients. That speaks for itself!