Nurses help improve ambulance handover times

Hospitals show dramatic improvement in A&E wait times

A nurse-led handover team has seen two emergency departments dramatically improve their performance when meeting patients arriving by ambulance.

Every shift at Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby and Scunthorpe General Hospital now includes a nominated nurse in charge of handovers.

Low ranking

Both hospitals were formerly ranked among the worst hospitals for meeting 15-minute handover targets.

Handover times have taken up to an hour during busy periods, during which patients were cared for by paramedic crews instead of hospital staff.

Of 21 emergency departments covered by East Midlands Ambulance service, Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital was in 19th place and Scunthorpe General Hospital in 20th place.

Top positions

Since introducing the new handover teams, Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital has been in first place, and Scunthorpe in second position, since mid-May.

The move follows an increase in A&E attendances at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, which runs both hospitals, from 144,996 in 2014/15 to 150,288 in 2015/16.

Scunthorpe General Hospital matron Vanessa Tasker said: ‘We know handover between ambulance staff and our staff can be delayed when we are busy and we do try to minimise delays wherever possible but sometimes they are unavoidable.’

'Absolutely delighted'

Emergency care centre manager at Grimsby Anne-Marie Fowler said: ‘I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to improve the service for our patients coming through our doors.

‘It also enables the ambulance crew to get back on the road as we recognise they are under enormous pressure as well.’

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