Safe NHS environments: For patient, clinician & support worker

safe nhs environments
© Niccolo Pontigia

Kate Edwards, Director at Intelligent Infection Control Services Limited, LumiBio, underlines the importance of creating safe environments for the patient, clinician & support worker in the NHS

As the vaccination rollout reaches impressive uptake and coverage figures, severe illness and deaths are thankfully greatly reduced. All eyes are looking forward to the return to normality for the general population in the UK.

There is much talk about “the new normal” and what it will entail, but generally, people are wanting to get back to life as it was before the pandemic. How long this takes, or how close we can get remains to be seen, but there is cause for optimism as we seem to have weathered the worst of the storm.

There are lots of lessons to be learned from the pandemic. Internal investigations and public inquiries will no doubt bring recommendations and judgements on what actions worked and what didn’t.

The NHS playing catch up

Alongside all this, the NHS is expected to play catch up and get back to its pre-pandemic footing, and at the same time, deliver on the targets set out in the Long-Term Plan. Unfortunately, with waiting lists at their highest since 2007 and a backlog maintenance cost reaching £9 billion, one of the big issues will be returning service delivery to full capacity. The usual bottlenecks in the Health and Care system such as bed capacity for step-up and step-down care were highlighted during the pandemic, without meaningful change, this will continue with disappointing consequences for patients awaiting treatment away from acute settings.

Diagnostic procedures can, for the most part, be expediently carried out with the setting up of clinics to manage the backlog, with staffing being the primary limiting factor. Ongoing and preventative treatment delivered in a community setting, on the other hand, is more reliant on the availability of suitable estate, bed availability and resources.

A patient moving down in requirements of care from ITU onto a ward and then requiring ongoing recovery/rehabilitation treatment and care runs the risk of (to use an old-fashioned term) bed-blocking. Due to the lack of available capacity to provide appropriate and necessary intermediate care, throughput is reduced as patients are held in acute settings for longer than they need to be, having a detrimental effect on the patient’s recovery and creating ongoing pressure in acute settings.

The Long Term Plan: Integrated health & care

The Long Term Plan calls for the integration of Health and Social Care services and to deliver this approach a deliverable solution has to be the use of the existing estate portfolio but more fluidly and flexibly – a fit for purpose, flexible estate. This approach seeks to create fit for purpose capacity within a local community that matches capacity to the demand identified in a place-based system of care.

Creating additional and flexible capacity across the whole health and care system relieves pressure and allows the flow of patients through the system, maintaining capacity availability and enabling the reduction in the backlog and space for changes and improvements to the current system to be achieved.

There were moves in this direction during the pandemic – Nightingale Hospitals, the acquisition of private capacity, etc. Although these weren’t used to full effect it shows the underlying principle has already been accepted.

The proposals set out in the Long-Term Plan for integrated health and care need to be underpinned by improved and advanced solutions that will relieve the burden on existing resources.

In association with plans such as this, all peripheral support actions and services need to be attuned to the flexible way of working.

IPC: LumiBio

A focus on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) is critical in aiding the recovery of capacity in a safe controlled way. IPC will need to be flexible to cope with varying requirements such as a clinical or care setting and the type of service being delivered, but needs at all times to be effective – we don’t want to see infections brought in by newly transferred patients (again). IPC will need to be capable of integrating seamlessly with no additional burden on resources or process. The aim here is to reduce friction in the system, not add to it.

Novel systems and services need to be integrated into the existing framework to provide a proactive capability with reactive functions if required. Monitoring of practices/results will give a measurable body of data with which to judge the effectiveness of any IPC system deployed, allowing ineffective/inefficient processes/ systems to be discontinued as appropriate.

LumiBio is an advanced Infection Prevention and Control system that integrates seamlessly into current IPC measures and is suitable and safe for any live environment, but does not carry any of the risks, side effects or additional burdens to staff that current systems provide.

During the height of the pandemic, increased traditional methods of Infection, Prevention and Control, were adopted. However, these additional measures placed burdens on an already stretched system and relied on consistent application and behaviour from individuals, unfortunately applying the protocols alone was not enough to protect staff and patients completely and with confidence.

Why adopt LumiBio?

The proven benefits of adopting LumiBio in an NHS setting have had numerous positive impacts. LumiBio provides.

A way to significantly reduce the risk of infection in NHS settings for staff and patients.

An IPC method that is completely safe, monitored, and evidence-backed.

An advanced IPC method that does not burden staff with additional tasks.

A cost-effective IPC method that has been independently tested, verified and proven effective against all known pathogens including Sars-COV-2.

A way to reassure staff and patients that healthcare settings are safe places to be.

LumiBio is a real example of how delivering change within the current system can be achieved. LumiBio relieves the burden on the health and care system, providing every possible assistance in recovering to pre-pandemic service levels; and the ability to move forward with a health and care system fit for the future in a safe environment.

 

Please note: This is a commercial profile

© 2019. This work is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 license

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