Over the last few months health and care system partners have been working collaboratively to ensure the local system has robust plans in place to manage increased demand for urgent and emergency care services over the winter period.
The system has a winter plan that all partners have contributed to and this has been recognised as the most joined-up winter plan we have had in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. To support this and its actions partners have been working together to develop an ‘escalation trigger’ tool, which will provide a sensitive indication of how the system is coping during winter, as well as where any hot spots occur.
Individual organisations will also have indicators, enabling focus to be applied where necessary. This will act as an early warning system, enabling healthcare providers and commissioners across the Together We’re Better patch to implement agreed actions to manage increases in demand and maintain safe and accessible services for patients.
Alongside the launch of this tool, which was was endorsed by the Urgent and Emergency Care Programme Board in November, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust’s (UHNM) two new modular wards will be opening at Royal Stoke in the new year and will provide additional bed capacity to the system should it be needed.
Meanwhile, the NHS and social care in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent has launched its 'What's Your Emergency?' winter campaign. The six-week campaign, led by UHNM, spotlights a variety of frontline staff from across the NHS who will be giving a combination of advice about different illness and conditions, how you can be prepared for winter, what you can do for others and the services that are on offer. For more information about What’s Your Emergency, visit the UHNM website here.