Acute therapies team is the benchmark of success

A team of therapy staff in Manchester is being recognised as a benchmark service following a successful project to improve acute therapy services.

The integrated assessment team at University Hospitals South Manchester Foundation Trust presented the results of its project at a NHS benchmarking network event last month.

Physiotherapist Katherine McIntee and occupational therapist (OT) Sally Grimwood led the presentation, outlining the benefits its seven-day service has had on early discharge rates and reduction in readmission.  

The team was set up in 2009 as a Monday-Friday service and aimed to provide a more rapid assessment and discharge service to reduce patient length of stay.

The team comprises two physiotherapists, two OTs, a social worker, discharge co-ordinator and consultant. It works in both A&E and the Acute Medical Unit at the trust.

It introduced seven-day working in the medical unit in December 2010 to further increase early discharges and improve patient flow.

The team’s evaluation showed a 30.5 per cent increase in discharges from the unit with a 24 per cent decrease in 30-day readmissions.

For patients over 75 years-old there was a 45 per cent increase in discharges from the unit with a 27 per cent decrease in 30-day readmission rates.

The success of the project saw the therapy team awarded Team of the Year 2012 in their trust’s annual staff awards.

It was invited to speak at the recent NHS benchmarking event in a seminar on acute therapies.

NHS benchmarking is the largest network of performance comparisons and good practice within the NHS.

Following the acute therapies seminar a final report and toolkit will be available online to all network members in mid-February.

The toolkit allows participants to view their position against other similar organisations on a range of benchmarked metrics, including investment and staffing levels, skill mix and activity and productivity.

Sally Priestley

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