Charing Cross Hospital selected for London-wide programme to reduce hospital stays following improvements to acute medical care pathway

Charing Cross Hospital has been named as one of five hospitals involved in a new London-wide programme aimed at reducing patient stays in hospital. This follows a series of improvements to the path patients take from the accident and emergency department to other parts of the hospital, known as the ‘acute medical care pathway’.

NHS’s acute medical pathway programme (AMPP) is a new project led by NHS England aimed at improving access to community services and reducing the number of people staying in hospital for 1-7 days.

The Trust has introduced a number of measures in recent years to enable patients to access acute and specialist care without being admitted to hospital and ensuring that patients who are admitted get the care they need as quickly and smoothly as possible and are able to be discharged promptly and safely. This has been aided by the recent £7.2 million expansion of Charing Cross Hospital’s A&E department as well as the addition of 13 beds in the acute assessment unit (AAU). There is now a total of 59 acute medical beds at Charing Cross Hospital.

George Tharakan, clinical lead for acute medicine at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said:

“We have put a lot of work into reducing waiting times so that patients are able move from our emergency department into the most appropriate setting for their needs more quickly – be that in hospital or at home – and we are already seeing the benefits in terms of reduced length of hospital stay.

“The acute medical pathway programme is an opportunity to develop our acute medical care pathway services further as well as learn from other trusts and share what we have learnt and achieved through our own improvements.”

In addition to the expansion of the AAU, the Trust has invested in improving care coordination for frail people in acute care settings.

It is currently recruiting for a specialist nurse, therapist and consultant in caring for frail, older patients to be based in the accident and emergency department to embed comprehensive geriatric assessments into the acute care pathway. Around a third of patients attending Charing Cross A&E are aged over 65, and research shows that patients who receive an early comprehensive geriatric assessment have better outcomes.

The other four hospitals taking part in AMPP are Royal London Hospital (Barts Health NHS Trust), North Middlesex University Hospital (North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust), Croydon University Hospital (Croydon Health Services NHS Trust) and Queen Elizabeth Hospital.