Trust colleagues to showcase Ready to Go Units at New Scientist conference


Trust colleagues to showcase Ready to Go Units at New Scientist conference

A team of colleagues from our trust are set to spread the word of the county’s ‘Ready to Go Units’ at a prestigious science conference being held in London this weekend.

Dr James Gagg, one of our emergency medicine consultants and associate medical director for our medical services group, is part of the team travelling to the New Scientist Live this weekend to showcase how colleagues on the units are giving medically-fit patients that more intensive rehabilitation before they return home from hospital.

“It’s a real honour for our trust to be asked to exhibit our work on such a prestigious platform as New Scientist Live,” he said. “It very much follows the widespread local and national media coverage in early 2023 that showed our approach to developing the best way of caring for a group of patients, who are appropriate to be discharged from hospital, but are waiting for care in the community.

“We set up our two Ready to Go Units – in Musgrove Park and Yeovil hospitals – with a reablement focus very much in mind. Our colleagues set about creating a space that didn’t resemble a traditional hospital ward, but is more a place where patients can develop a routine more akin to that at home as well as getting additional therapy whilst awaiting a safe discharge.

“The ethos of the units is to get patients dressed and out of bed, as well as taking part in physiotherapy exercises and other activities that’ll make their everyday life much easier at home. Data shows that almost nine in ten of our patients cared for on the units were up, washed and dressed every day – a great effort.

“There are two main areas that we want to celebrate and showcase at the event, the first being how we’ve worked hard as an organisation to identify the problem and use quality improvement methodologies to come up with innovative solutions.

“The problem in this case was how we could do our best for those patients who are medically-fit to be discharged from hospital, but are waiting for an onward care package or social care placement – we wanted to avoid giving them unnecessary medical care, or allow them to decondition by lying in bed and not moving.

“The quality improvement processes that we have at the trust allowed us to make this happen, and on the units themselves, 88% of colleagues reported that they’d had a good day at work – bucking the national trend.

“The other side, of course, is the actual care of the patient and how we’re learning more about why getting people out of bed and doing activities and exercises, and involving other organisations, such as Age UK, has a huge benefit for our patients. It also reduces the level of care they might need once they’re back home, and increasing their independence.

“While this is a great solution to the problem, and 15% of all patients left the unit with greater independence, the ultimate aim is for those patients not to be in hospital in the first place with care available in the community, closer to their home.

“We’re very much looking forward to celebrating our work and sharing with others at the event, but we’re also hoping to meet people who are interested in the concept and eager to find out more.

“An added bonus is the schools day on Monday, where we’ll get to chat to thousands of youngsters and hopefully inspire them into a future career in the NHS!”