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Preparations for Winter Pressure Pays Off!

Preparations for Winter Pressure Pays Off!
11 February 2019

Dr Paul Bowen, clinical chair of NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group, and GP with McIlvride Medical Practice, Poynton

Everyone knows that winter is the busiest time in the NHS. When the cold weather bites, people with long-term conditions such as serious breathing problems are more likely to fall ill.

NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG, local GPs and East Cheshire NHS Trust have been preparing for the increase in demand for healthcare services by working together on various schemes to improve performance and ensure patients receive the best care possible.

One such initiative is the Helping Flo campaign, developed jointly by East Cheshire NHS Trust and NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG that aims to keep hospital beds free for those who really need them by improving the timely discharge of patients who are ready to go home.  The campaign encourages the public and hospital staff alike to take five simple steps to get people home when the time comes. The campaign has been a big success so far, amassing thousands of views on YouTube.

The campaign also contributed to an improvement in the number of timely discharges at Macclesfield Hospital since the campaign was launched in September. Find more about the campaign here:

Several schemes have reduced delayed transfers of care, particularly the provision of additional beds in the community. The CCG has commissioned beds in a care home setting for people who no longer need hospital care but are not yet medically fit to go home. Here they are looked after by care home nurses and local GPs and nurses. These additional beds have enabled over 60 more people to be discharged and supported in the community since October.

The Red Cross has also been helping to alleviate pressure through its discharge support service, which provides people with practical and emotional support when returning home after a stay in hospital, reducing the risk of re-admission.

I’d also like to thank the people of Eastern Cheshire for using A&E wisely, with around nine in 10 attendances at the accident and emergency department at Macclesfield being appropriate as an accident or an emergency. It’s encouraging to see that people are using other methods to get help, including using NHS 111, speaking to a pharmacist or contacting their GP both in and out of hours.