Recently I spent a few hours with the Clinical Site Team, whose role is pivotal to the patient flow throughout the hospital. The team is made up of senior nurses and advanced nurse practitioners who offer advice and support to the wards and medical and surgical teams within the Trust. The Clinical Site Team is responsible for managing hospital capacity including emergency admissions - these may be from GPs or home and non-emergency planned admissions and may require surgery or monitoring.
In essence, to ensure the hospital runs efficiently, the Clinical Site Team manages the movement of patients during their stay to ensure they receive the right care as their needs change. This includes internal transfers within the hospital, repatriations to and from other hospitals, transfers to other acute hospitals for specialised treatments and transfers to rehabilitation wards and community hospitals.
Kelly Wilkins, the Clinical Site manager was very kind and patient to allow me to shadow her as she managed the elective pathway that day. Having previously been on call out of hours, I thought I had an appreciation of the challenges and workload of the team, but in the few hours I spent with them, it made me reflect on how one or two individuals really make a massive difference to how our hospital runs.
We visited a number of the wards and theatres, talking to members of the teams about discharges, available beds and timing of patient moves. Every person I was introduced to was professional, juggling a hundred things, yet despite this, they all were incredibly good humoured. There were some clear take home messages about the training and development we offer our teams to support succession planning alongside some practical considerations of space and flow between clinical areas. The challenges of staffing were prevalent and it was a humble reminder of just how tough things are for all teams across the Trust at the moment.
Kelly had incredible stamina and an amazing memory. She confessed to being an avid list fan (a lady after my own heart) to manage the moves between wards, discharges and theatre recovery. What I encountered in meeting the Site Team that day (which I have no doubt reflects those team members not on shift) was a team who were masters in negotiation, whose communication skills made them expert problem solvers. I definitely will be going back to shadow again - the team really have an insight into how the hospital works and ultimately help make multiple moving parts feel seamless.
Thank you to everyone who made me feel welcome and took the time to share their experiences.
23 August 2021
Our staff at Salisbury District Hospital have long been well regarded for the quality of care and treatment they provide for our patients and for their innovation, commitment and professionalism. This has been recognised in a wide range of achievements and it is reflected in our award of NHS Foundation Trust status. This is afforded to hospitals that provide the highest standards of care.