A new Same Day Emergency Care process which has been successfully running at the West Cumberland Hospital since March of this year has reduced the number of people who need to be admitted to hospital by 30%. SDEC is the provision of same day care for emergency patients who would otherwise be admitted to hospital. 

This is part of a Government initiative created to assess to admit rather than admit to assess ensuring patients spend less time waiting in hospital for the right treatment pathway to be decided for them. Now patients have input from senior decision makers at the very beginning of their visit to hospital, who can decide the right course of treatment for them. This has improved patient flow in the hospital, freeing up valuable space in A&E and created a much more streamlined and efficient process for staff and patients alike.  

Nichola Mitchinson, Ward Sister said ‘I’m extremely happy with the improvements we have seen to the department because of the implementation of SDEC. Ultimately we now have more time to spend with patients. Ensuring we get the patient to the right place at the right time in order to deliver the best care’  

The successful delivery of SDEC requires a change in thinking and working for staff, they were asked to note down what they felt was working and what was less so in a communal meeting area, so that changes could be implemented quickly and efficiently. Cross functional working between teams’ has been essential to the process to create the best environment for patients.

Elaine Amor, the matron responsible for overseeing the Emergency Department, at WCH said ‘SDEC has been fully embraced by our staff, it requires a new way of thinking and an integrated approach between departments, something which has developed over the last few months’ 

The positive effect SDEC has had on the staff and patients has been vast, even during the challenges of the last few months.  Pressure has been relieved from A&E at a crucial time and all staff have felt the benefit of these changes. Katie Poulton, Consultant on the Emergency Admissions Unit at WCH said ‘We have seen a huge improvement in patient flow, wait times are reduced and staff morale is up because we are able to work in a much improved way. Practitioners want to work within the department; we’ve seen a massive increase in vacancies being filled’  

Dr Poulton explained how the team are able to manage 70% of the patients through SDEC creating less demand on the wards generating a more efficient system and allowing the short stay units to run as they were intended.

The team involved in the execution of SDEC at WCH continue to work hard to streamline the new scheme to get the most out of it for both patients and staff. 

Same Day Emergency Care is being introduced to the Cumberland Infirmary later this year.

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