In an effort to tackle a recent unprecedented winter demand, the local NHS launched Operation Wintergreen. Staff from many departments were asked to volunteer to assist staff on the frontline to reduce waiting times.
Now, half way through the programme, the number of patients being treated within 4 hours is growing. Before the project was started only 76% of patients were seen within 4 hours. Now, this number has risen to 89%, an improvement of 13%.
Just four days into Operation Wintergreen patients are waiting for much less time.
“An Improving Picture”
Michelle Veitch, deputy chief operating officer at the trust, said:
We are seeing a reduction in the number of patients outlying in different departments.
We are also seeing empty beds on the assessment units and it’s an improving picture in terms of capacity.
This means we have fewer patients in our emergency department waiting for beds on our wards.
However, we are still facing pressures and I would say we are seeing a gradual rather than a dramatic improvement.
Cancellation of Operations
An unfortunate side-effect of this operation was the cancellation of around 600 routine operations. Cancelling these operations ensured staff could be redeployed to areas their specialisations could be utilised to reduce waiting times.
Chief Operating Officer Ellen Ryabov said:
Cancelling appointments and operations is never something we would do lightly and I would like to apologise to those patients who have been affected.
I would like to assure them that we will be rearranging their appointments and procedures as quickly as possible.
We needed to take this additional action to support our emergency patients and staff and we believe we will be in a much stronger position at the conclusion of Operation Wintergreen.