Health Education England with East Kent Hospitals University Foundation NHS Trust has been shortlisted for the HSJ Awards workforce category.

Health Education England (HEE) with East Kent Hospitals University Foundation NHS Trust (EKH) have been shortlisted in this year’s HSJ Awards workforce category for establishing hot ‘emergency-based’ & cold ‘ward-based’ teams to enhance the trainee experience, improving patient care at weekends.

EKH has a strong commitment to education with a community of 445 medical students and 540 junior doctors. In light of recent changes to trainee doctors working hours (European Working Regulation), working patterns and models of care, EKH wanted to redesign their current service model to provide the highest quality training and patient care, and improve training and patient safety and care out-of-hours and at weekends.

In partnership with HEE, East Kent Hospitals implemented a pilot that intended to tackle training and patient care issues. This saw the creation of a customised, electronic rostering system to run a revised rota for all training doctors in medicine in the hospital. The new rota involves all training doctors working for ‘hot’ periods of four weeks (A&E) followed by a ‘cold’ period of six weeks (medical wards).

The pilot has seen the creation of an enhanced cold team working at weekends, which in turn has reduced mortality at the Trust. In September 2013 – January 2014, the Trust’s weekend mortality/morbidity rates have improved to match weekday rates, so that they are, overall, lower than national levels. The Trust has also seen a 21% increase in trainees who regularly received higher levels of supervision and feedback from senior colleagues. Trainees have recorded, via survey and in focus groups, feeling better supervised and supported in both hot and cold blocks of working.

Due to the positive figures and evidence raised from this project, the Trust has committed to maintain and rollout the pilot. The new rota will remain in place at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford and will be implemented in the Trust’s other acute hospitals. This is the first step of plans to spread and adopt the project on a national level.

Congratulations on being shortlisted and good luck at the Awards Ceremony.

About the author

NHS Professionals administrator

NHS Professionals manages the temporary staffing needs of around 66 NHS Trusts across England. An integral part of the NHS, it aims to reduce Trusts’ spending on flexible workers without compromising quality, by providing greater transparency of demand and supplying bank staff at the best possible rate. Its bank of more than 40,000 flexible workers comprises general and specialist nurses, doctors, midwives, admin/clerical , allied health professionals, healthcare scientists, support services among other healthcare professionals.

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