NHS Utilisation Management Unit under new leadership

Dr Paula Bennett

There are exciting times ahead for The NHS Utilisation Management Unit, under new leadership from Dr. Paula Bennett.

Paula first joined the Utilisation Management Unit in October 2016 as their Associate Director of Clinical Development and has recently taken on the responsibility of strategic leadership. A registered adult and children’s trained nurse with 26 years of clinical practice in adult and paediatric emergency nursing and a Doctorate from University of Salford that evaluated the impact of computerised clinical decision support on frontline care. Paula has brought a wealth of experience to the unit during her time with them already.

The NHS Utilisation Management Unit are a unique team of experienced clinicians and expert health analysts who interpret health data to improve care for patients and families. Their ability to understand data based on clinical expertise can highlight issues that are not fully understood, and they then use that information to plan effective strategic and operational changes and track improvements.

The team have developed a wide range of products and services that can be tailored according to need, including supporting NHS trusts to improve quality and safety so that at least 95% of patients attending Emergency Departments (ED) are seen within four hours. They can identify issues that are obstructing patient flow and work together with hospital staff to remove these quickly and safely. The results have seen some hospitals reach ED performance of 100%, resulting in safer care for patients by enabling then to be seen and treated more quickly.

Paula said: “I am really excited to be leading such a great team; there is a real need across the NHS to improve pathways of care and especially for the most vulnerable in society. We are committed to identifying more effective solutions and make a real difference to patients and families, in particular those who require emergency or urgent treatment.

“Along with our national work, we are delighted that being part of Health Innovation Manchester offers us the scope to work across all organisations in Greater Manchester to support improvement.

The digital opportunities in this region mean that our blend of clinical analytics can be at the forefront of knowledge creation. We are investing in new visualisation tools which will enable analysts and clinicians to interpret system data with increased flexibility, and develop insights that you can’t gain in any other way. We are also taking the opportunity to meet with health and care organisations to shape a new service focused on embedding lasting change.”

The UM Unit has recently been recognised by the HSJ Value in Healthcare Awards for their 100% Challenge events, with a nomination in this years’ ‘Improvement in Emergency and Urgent Care’ category.

Ben Bridgewater, CEO, Health Innovation Manchester, said: “We are very proud of the work and results that our UM Team has achieved and to be shortlisted for this award is testament to their hard work and ability to identify and address pressure points within urgent and emergency care. The team work with Trusts across the UK and is a fantastic example of innovative work that is being produced within Greater Manchester to the benefit of the wider population.”

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