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Innovative approach to managing patient flow in Prince Charles Hospital

A new innovative approach to managing patient flow in Prince Charles Hospital has been launched. Safe 2 Start is the brainchild of Patient Flow Manager, Rob Foley. The aim of Safe 2 Start is to bring together all ward managers to discuss staffing, capacity and quality and safety across Prince Charles Hospital in order to ensure all wards and departments are safe to start the day.The daily meetings are a way for nurses and departments to express any concerns and to ensure the hospital is able to deal with the current pressures by ensuring that all wards are staff and working to full capacity and if not, for staff to be mobilised across the hospital to support each other. The project has successfully been able to support numerous wards that were not safe to start due to staffing constraints and support the extremely busy emergency department to help cut long ambulance delays and bed waits through the identification of ward capacity and planned patient movement.Due to the success of the Safe 2 Start project and the benefit it has brought to the Prince Charles Hospital teams, Improvement Cymru is supporting the project by developing the meeting to incorporate Real Time Demand Capacity principles.  Prince Charles Hospital will be one of three sites in Wales where Real Time Demand Capacity is being implemented.Rob Foley, Patient Flow Manager and creator of the project said, “Embedding the Safe 2 Start concept was key to the delivery of improvement and change for the teams within Prince Charles Hospital.  We have created a structured approach for the teams to describe the demands on their wards, but also to understand the demands other areas are also seeing.  In exposing all ward areas to this, we have now seen a cultural shift where wards are owning and sharing the response in order to try and minimise and mitigate the risk that patients are experiencing on PCH site.Greg Dix, Executive Nurse Director said “The safety of our patients is the key priority across the Health Board and this new approach places the patient truly at the center of all hospital decisions. The PCH leadership team should be congratulated on this new approach and the collective ownership and actions taken in managing risk across the site in keeping our patients as safe as possible.”