Emergency department at Barnsley Hospital

We’ve been successful in our bid to take part in a national project to improve the care delivered to a very specific group of patients who attend our emergency department.

The Patient and Family-centred Care Programme, run by the Kings Fund, is breaking new ground in improving the experience of care for patients and their families, and the working lives of staff.

The demand for emergency care services increases year on year, placing an ever increasing pressure on the department to maintain its high quality of care and patient experience.

Older people can be frequent patients in the emergency department and often have complex medical and social needs – and it’s these patients that the work will focus on. About one third of older people who come to the department have done so as a result of a fall or other accident – with the remainder due to chronic illnesses.

In winter months, when there is a higher risk of falls and respiratory illness, this significantly increases – and nowadays, there is also an increasing trend for older people with minor injuries being brought in from residential and nursing homes.

The aim of our programme builds on our principle that services should be designed from the patient’s point of view, and that an accessible, patient-centred, integrated, high quality service should be delivered without unnecessary delay or loss of dignity.

We’re just at the start of this important piece of work – and will report back on how we’re doing here.

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