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Hospital ‘mission control’ opened by local MP

It’s been called a NASA style control centre and the eyes and ears of the Trust – now the officially named Care Coordination Centre at Maidstone Hospital has been formally opened by local MP Helen Grant.

The MP for Maidstone and The Weald cut the ribbon at the centre which is home to an innovative computer system used to improve waiting times and patient flow through both the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells hospitals.

The system uses real time data to see how many of the 700 beds across the hospitals are empty, may need cleaning or have a patient who is leaving.

With real-time visibility of available beds, MTW has significantly reduced the amount of time a bed is empty and the time a patient spends in the Emergency Department (ED) before they are transferred to a bed. This ensures patients arriving in ambulances are quickly moved into the ED. The system has enabled the Trust to increase the number of planned operations performed each day and given nurses and ward staff more time back to focus on patient care.

During her visit on Monday 14 November, Mrs Grant met staff in the Care Coordination Team who demonstrated how the technology works. She also heard about the expansion of the CCC to include the four hospitals run by Kent Community Health Foundation Trust’s (KCHFT).  This supports the discharge of patients from the acute hospitals into community hospital beds

Nick Sinclair, Director of Central Operations, said: “Before the new system and the CCC was introduced, the Trust used a manual system to manage its bed availability. These innovative changes have now dramatically reduced the amount of time a bed is empty following the discharge of one patient and the arrival of the next – from 2 hours 40 minutes down to 60 minutes.

“It has also reduced the amount of time a patient waits in our Emergency Departments before they are transferred to a bed on a ward – from 1 hour 40 minutes to 40 minutes. This in turn supports the timely transfer of patients arriving in ambulances into our Emergency Departments.

Miles Scott, Chief Executive for MTW, added: “Not only does this improve capacity in our hospitals, it also improves our patient’s experience and frees up nursing time. The quicker processes in place around patient moves, cleaning and portering also significantly reduces the time spent by nurses on the wards answering the telephones and making calls to speed up this activity.

“The CCC ensures our patients get the right care, in the right place at the right time, helping to minimise discharge delays and getting patients home or to their next place of care as quickly as possible.”

MP for Maidstone and The Weald, Helen Grant, said: “I am delighted to officially open the Care Coordination Centre at Maidstone Hospital. The exciting way the Trust is using technology in the centre to really improve the care and experience of patients should be celebrated, it really is a fantastic example of innovation and partnership working. Despite record attendances at their Emergency Departments MTW continues to be one of the best performing hospital trusts in the country and I know the centre plays a key role in this. I am proud of our local Trust and the ambition and commitment shown by the staff – they are providing outstanding care for our local communities.”