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Acuity, Alerts, Red Flag Events and Escalation

Joann Morse Deputy Chief Nurse University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust spoke at today’s Nursing Staffing and Skillmix in A&E Departments conference on:

• understanding how to set triggers for acuity alerts
• enabling frontline staff to recognise red flag events
• escalation of acuity alerts and how to manage concerns around ratios
• issues relating to taking nurses off other wards and dissipating risk by moving patients to several wards when capacity is reached
• using acuity and dependency tools in practice

In her presentation Joann commented on a 7 day health service saying; "7 day onsite matron means staff feel more supported"

Abstract of Joann’s talk:
Acuity , Alerts and Escalation in the Emergency Department

At University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS FT we have deployed a number of strategies to ensure that the level of patient acuity in conjunction with staff skill mix is used to assess patient safety within the department.

Whilst acknowledging that the staffing levels currently fall short of the new NICE guidance for Emergency departments we have put in place robust mechanisms where by staff within the immediate department have clear metrics to monitor patient acuity and escalation processes for when these are not met. Use of live electronic dashboards allows us to plan based on trends and monitor in real time activity within the department.

Multi Professional patient flow safety meetings seven days per week supported by senior clinical staff ensure that all departments within the hospital can respond to escalation. The overall aim being to reduce harm to patients from extended length of time within the Emergency Department and those still waiting.

Joann’s full presentation can be downloaded at the end of this page. 

Joann has been the Deputy Chief Nurse at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay since 2012. Joann has taken a lead role in the review of the nursing workforce and implementation of the e-rostering programme; Triangulating with patient acuity and key metrics for patient harm thus providing assurance that nurse staffing is able to respond to the changing demands of health care. Implementation of 7 day senior nursing cover has facilitated a robust escalation process. 

Joann was previously the Assistant Director of Nursing at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust 

Future events of interest:

Masterclass: Nursing Revalidation
Tuesday 2 June 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Nurse Prescribing
Tuesday 2 June 2015 
ICO Conference Centre, London

Safe Staffing: Nursing Staffing Levels and Skillmix
Monday 8 June 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Nursing Revalidation for Specialist Practice and Advanced Roles
Tuesday 9 June 2015 
ICO Conference Centre, London

Nursing Appraisal and Revalidation: Implementing the New NMC Code of Practice
Thursday 2 July 2015 
Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester

Advancing IV Therapy
Thursday 2 July 2015 
Manchester Conference Centre, Manchester

Nurse Prescribing for Pain
Tuesday 22 September 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre, London

Nursing Appraisal & Revalidation & Implementing the New NMC Code of Practice
Monday 19 October 2015 
Hallam Conference Centre, London


Download: Joann Morse full presentation

18 May 2015

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