Salford leads the way in response to COVID-19 as entire patient pathway is reviewed

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire urgent and emergency care patient pathway in Salford was reviewed by healthcare staff, with a journal paper being co-authored by members of the Health Innovation Manchester Utilisation Management Unit.

The review was carried out in partnership between Health Innovation Manchester, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Salford Clinical Commissioning Group and North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust and was published as a journal by BMC Emergency Medicine.

The journal, entitled ‘Consequences of the emergency response to COVID-19: a whole healthcare system review in a single city in the United Kingdom’ looked in detail at the pathway of care for patients in Salford during the eight-week period of the first wave of Coronavirus, to understand all health care interactions in the preceding weeks and months.

The aim of the review was to “ascertain the characteristics of patients, uncertainty over diagnosis, or features of the emergency response to the pandemic that could be modified” in future waves.

The key findings from the review included:

  • Delays in seeking care for a range of conditions
  • Delays in transport to hospital
  • Exposure to COVID-19

The conclusions from this review were shared widely across Greater Manchester so that all the local health and care organisations could consider their own pathways in light of what was learnt.

Paula Bennett, Associate Director of Clinical Development/Utilisation Management Unit Lead, said: “This review demonstrated the level of change that took place, as a response to the pandemic in Salford, and will have likely been seen in other areas of the United Kingdom especially throughout the pandemic. Our Utilisation Management Unit was able to provide vital analysis, that has helped identify key themes to inform Urgent and Emergency Care policy, protocols and guidelines for the general population and vulnerable sub-groups.

“Given the sudden nature of these wholesale changes for our healthcare system, it is data and analysis like this that can prove invaluable to be able to better understand how to improve care and the responsiveness of services. I’m sure that this review will be used as an example for other regions across the country.”

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