18 October 2017
Ready for winter
Extra hospital and community beds, changes to the way patients
are assessed for their post-hospital care needs and closer working
between agencies, mean health and social care partners in
Nottinghamshire go into their busiest months of the year better
prepared than ever.
Up to 30 extra respiratory beds will open at Nottingham City
Hospital between December and early April.
Additional community care packages, assessment capacity and
community beds started to come on line from the beginning of
October to coincide with a new way of assessing patients' post
hospital care needs outside of the hospital setting, which will
lead to hospital beds being used more effectively. It aims to
reduce length of stay for medically safe patients and delays with
transfers of care.
Caroline Shaw, NUH's Chief Operating Officer, said: "While we
are forecasting a challenging winter, including a difficult winter
flu season, as a health and social care system we go into our
busiest months of the year in a better position than in previous
"There is a renewed focus on early actions and decision-making
across every ward to prevent our patients experiencing long bed
waits and reducing the risk of patients being cared for in an
overcrowded Emergency Department (ED).
"We continue to work closely with health and social care
partners across Nottinghamshire to improve the flow through ED, our
wards and out of hospital when patients are ready to transfer from
Caroline added: "We ask the local community to help us over
winter. Please only use ED in an emergency - and make use of all
available health services, including 111, local pharmacies, your GP
and the urgent care centre in the city centre for minor injuries.
Please don't visit any friends or relatives at QMC and City
Hospital until you have been free of diarrhoea and vomiting for at
least 48 hours, and use the hand gel and soap and water to clean
your hands when visiting our wards to minimise the spread of
Dr Hugh Porter, Clinical Lead and Chair of Nottingham City
Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: "Local GPs are
encouraging vulnerable patients and health workers to get a flu
vaccination as the best protection against the spread and impact of
the virus during winter months.
"More than three quarters of people who are infected with
the flu virus have no symptoms but pose a real danger to any
vulnerable people they come into contact with such as pregnant
women, older people and new-born babies. The vaccine gives between
60 and 80 per cent protection against flu infection and is the most
effective measure to protect the public against the virus.
"At this time of year we also advise people to maintain a
supply of over the counter remedies for coughs and colds as well as
make sure they have enough stocks of any prescribed medicines."