Dr Paula Bennett: Supporting the urgent and emergency care COVID-19 coordination across Greater Manchester

As part of the response to COVID-19, Health Innovation Manchester is accelerating support to urgent and emergency care across the local health and care system.

In this blog Dr Paula Bennett, our Associate Director of Clinical Development and Utilisation Management (UM) Unit Lead at Health Innovation Manchester describes how the Unit is collaborating with multiple health and care organisations across the patient pathway during the pandemic across Greater Manchester.

As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, our work at Health Innovation Manchester with partners has refocussed and realigned to support the system.

In the Utilisation Management (UM) Unit, we have repositioned our urgent and emergency care (UEC) clinical and analytical expertise to support system wide plans. We are well placed to do this as we have extensive UEC subject expertise both clinically and analytically.

Our clinicians are all Registered Nurses with emergency care, urgent care and acute medicine background. Our analysts have decades of experience on analysing and interpreting UEC data sets.

Working collaboratively with multiple organisations across Greater Manchester is ensuring pathways across UEC are safe for patients and staff and are sustainable during and after COVID-19.

So, we are currently working across five key programmes, all of which support the Greater Manchester response. These are:

To give you a bit of background on this, the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSCP) has a UEC Transformation and Improvement plan that was already agreed immediately prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first three areas on the list above are the main work programmes in the HSCP UEC plan. Our collaboration with the UEC Team at the HSCP has enabled this work to be accelerated and the UM Unit team are directly supporting each of the three work programmes.

The Greater Manchester Clinical Assessment Service (CAS), point one on the above list, is improving the assessment of health and care needs whilst the patient is still in the community. It enables more patients to be managed by primary or community services and reduces the need to transport patients to an Emergency Department.

Point two, the hospital- based response, is a programme of work to support all 10 localities in Greater Manchester, to establish effective and efficient pathways when hospital is required. The aim of the hospital-based response is to ensure that delays are minimised and an admission to hospital is part of the pathway when treatment cannot be delivered elsewhere.

The final element of the HSCP UEC plan is to establish a responsive community-based UEC response service that enables people to be managed at home or discharged as soon as their hospital-based care is complete.

Point four on our list of five key programmes is looking in depth at our data analytics and evaluation methodologies, which supports all our key programmes. This will ensure that there is a robust measurement plan associated with all the work we are involved in.

Robust data is vital in analysing what measures need to be taken for the programmes that Health Innovation Manchester are piloting with partners across Greater Manchester to succeed in supporting the system; which then leads me onto point number five.

Looking specifically at Health Innovation Manchester’s accelerated programmes in response to this pandemic, developing the GM care record for Greater Manchester has never been more important under the current circumstances.

I have personally provided clinical guidance and input into this workstream, as we look to accelerate the GM care record to support the system during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Understanding the impact of the pandemic on our UEC services through pathway evaluation and data analysis is helping our local health and care system respond to the ongoing outbreak and plan for the future.

The UM Unit and I are very proud to be collaborating with this work and supporting our partners on the frontline to ensure patients are cared for in the right place and at the right time, and that staff have the information they need to ensure they can continue to respond to the challenges of COVID-19.

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