Anneen Carlisle on how new hospital facilities could reduce the length of hospital staysDate posted: 24th August 2021
Anneen Carlisle is Matron on the upper gastrointestinal, colorectal and urology wards at Royal Preston Hospital and is a Staff Governor at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She believes that with new hospital facilities, the length of hospital stays for some patients could be significantly reduced.
What do you think about the New Hospitals Programme? What will it mean for you and your teams?
This opportunity is a very exciting one for our staff, our patients and our region as a whole. It’s safe to say that our hospital is fit to bursting, so more space and new facilities will make a huge difference. The teams are excited about what this means for their individual progression too. It could mean more career opportunities and chances to expand their knowledge and expertise.
There are definitely gaps in everyone’s understanding about what is happening with the proposed new hospital facilities and when, but the team knows that it’s early days in a long and complex process and when more information is available, it will be shared.
What are the main challenges with the hospital facilities at the moment?
On a practical level, the site is too disparate for both staff and patients. There aren’t enough changing facilities and those that we do have are quite a distance from the ward, which means it takes staff more time than it should to travel to and from the changing areas. Our wards are also a long way from the main car park and accessed through a main entrance which is not particularly inviting. It’s not the best experience for people arriving in our wards, especially those who are elderly and not very mobile. As a Staff Governor, I’ve been able to bridge the gap between the shop floor and the board and give this feedback to senior colleagues. The New Hospitals Programme is now our opportunity to be able to make some of these fundamental changes.
What is your main vision for the new hospital facilities?
A major challenge is that we have patients in hospital for longer than they need to be, because some of our services do not operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For example, we might have a patient who is ready to go home at the weekend, after having undergone an operation, but because pharmacy and physiotherapy run a reduced service on Saturdays and Sundays, it’s likely that this patient will not receive the appropriate medication and physiotherapy guidance to be able to be discharged until the following Monday. The reduced service could contribute to unnecessary hours or days spent in hospital, which could have been avoided if there was a full, seven-day service in place. I’m really looking forward to helping in any way that I can to improve our facilities for our patients and staff.