Reducing Length of Stay
NHS reforms have for the first time given real incentives for
NHS hospitals to reduce the length of time their patients spend in
hospital. Reducing hospital admissions and caring for people
more appropriately outside of hospital is key. However, when
hospital care is needed, the NHS needs to minimise that time, whilst
not undermining patient safety or quality of care. Alongside
changes to administrative systems and processes, a major factor
in reducing length of stay is improving levels of care so that patients
recover more quickly.
In the current challenging economic climate and likely reduced NHS growth, productivity and efficiency are
paramount. Cash in the NHS will need to be spent more wisely.
Considering the average cost for a patient to stay in an NHS surgical
ward is up to £400 per day, the financial benefits of reducing
length of stay are huge. Technology has a significant role to play
In the results of a randomised controlled clinical trial published
in the British Journal of Surgery, the
Freeman Hospital in Newcastle has shown how the use of an inexpensive
and proven technology suitable for use in all surgical specialities
helped patients become fit for discharge three days sooner. This together
with the hospital's own Enhanced Surgical Recovery Programme means that
colorectal surgery patients at the Freeman Hospital recover twice as fast
as NHS averages.