There has been a significant amount of effort from teams across our hospital, and from the health and care providers within Portsmouth and SE Hampshire, to develop plans which will help to alleviate the high levels of bed occupancy we have been experiencing of late. The bed occupancy pressures have a significant impact on our Emergency Department (ED) and we know this is one of the main reasons for the number of ambulance handover delays we experience. Although all patients are seen and assessed within minutes of arrival, at our busiest times their experience is not what we would like and the pressure this places on our team within the ED is significant.
While we wait to see the effect of the plans which are in development, we should recognise the improvements we are starting to see at our front door. The GP redirection pilot continues to go from strength to strength with at least 30 patients per day having the opportunity to see a GP for their condition at a surgery close to the QA, rather than waiting within the ED. Our Frailty Assessment Unit (FAU) is also working well, with an average of 9 patients per day accessing the unit. Our Ambulatory Emergency Care (AEC) unit is routinely taking an additional 10 patients per day, in addition to the high numbers they see already, directly from our ED. The collective effort from all will make a real difference and enable the occupancy levels within ED to improve.
On Wednesday I was delighted to attend the launch of an exciting new joint initiative with the University of Portsmouth and Clinical Research Network Wessex. The Supporting Innovation and Growth in Healthcare Technologies (SIGHT) project will give small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) the support they need to develop new and innovative ways of diagnosing and treating patients, providing access to patient groups, clinicians and academics.
The SIGHT project is yet another opportunity for us to build on our 10-year relationship with the University of Portsmouth, including the knowledge and expertise that we already share. You may recall from my message a few weeks ago that earlier this month we signed a new strategic partnership agreement between our organisations which allows us to build on our current strengths, both academically and clinically. The SIGHT project is another fantastic example of how, through working collaboratively, we can fast-track innovations for the benefit of our patients and communities, and potentially across the NHS.
Earlier this week I met with Junior Doctors Mess Presidents Dr Matt Smith and Dr Hayley Magill and discussed ways that we could work together to improve some of the facilities available to our junior medical teams, as part of our well-being agenda. The current Junior Doctors Mess on E level is scheduled to be re-provided on B level, and following the meeting I was pleased to hear that the move should be completed by the end of December.
Finally, on Friday afternoon we were delighted to welcome the Sing Now Choir who performed carols in our main reception to launch a series of Christmas festivities across PHT. I would like to thank the Hospitals Charity and our League of Friends for providing our Christmas tree to brighten up the area and I suspect individuals and teams across the Trust will also be getting into the festive spirit and decorating their wards and departments.
In the weeks ahead I look forward to welcoming visitors from across our communities, including local pantomime stars, Portsmouth Football Club, choirs and carol singers. Everyone is welcome to come along to any one of the upcoming performances and full details are available here.
Thank you for the fantastic work you do each and every day, to deliver the best care possible, to each of our patients.