Providing bespoke emergency support for operational and strategic planning, coordination and optimisation.Our regional capacity management service covers both acute and primary care optimisation. The team has dedicated, experienced urgent care managers responsible for each local health economy.
How can regional capacity management help your business?
The Regional Capacity Management team (RCMT) has both operational and strategic input for the planning, coordination and optimisation of emergency and urgent flow across individual local health economies. This overview contributes to the knowledge and understanding of pressures experienced by neighbouring health economies, providing a helicopter view which ensures operational and strategic decisions are taken with an understanding on potential impact on other areas. This process is supported by the provision of timely reporting on actual and forecasted activity.
What do we do?
Operational and emergency support: RCMT maintains a 24/7 on-call rota, which supports and advises on-call teams from local organisations involved with the delivery of urgent and emergency care:
- Whole-system approach to a standardised surge/escalation planning process including preparation, testing and implementation of individual and area plans
- Contribution to design, facilitation and implementation of on-call manager training throughout the local health economy and for NHS England area teams
- Development and management of the regional web-based Escalation Management System (EMS)
- Compilation of regional action card and implementation of local health economy action cards
- Management and development of activity forecasting for acute trusts
- Proactive members of all urgent and unscheduled care forums and systems resilience groups (SRGs)
- Assisting local health economy in delivery of urgent care agendas through effective project management
- Flexible approach to delivery of service to respond to seasonal demands of the urgent care system
- Working in partnership with ambulance services to maximise the alternative pathways available
- Working with speciality networks i.e. critical care, national burns and paediatric intensive care units
The support includes ensuring local health economies are following and activating agreed escalation plans for the management of surge in activity. We're part of each area team Incident Response Unit and use the embedded web-based information systems to provide relevant reports and updates throughout.
Daily reporting when on call or as required
- Daily situation report – circulated seven days a week to the health economy providing a ‘snapshot’ of current escalation levels
- Daily situation report – gives additional information, informs on teleconferences taking place, provides useful links, offers yesterday’s activity on delays of over an hour and ambulance diverts, plus heatwave/cold winter alert and a ‘day forecast’
- Escalation Management System (EMS) – an interactive website for all health and social care providers to report escalation levels during the day. The site provides an effective view of pressure across the region to all users, providing active coordination
- Responsive reporting on surges in activity to designated officers across the local health economy
- Regional forecasting tool for admissions and A&E attendees.
Escalation Management System (EMS)
“A bespoke, dynamic regional health economy escalation management system”
The RCMT is responsible for the West Midlands regional information tool known as the Escalation Management System (EMS). This tool is designed to work with health economies nationally. The tool is an interactive, secure NHS website for all acute trusts and local health economy partners to report escalation levels during the day. It provides a helicopter view of pressure across health economies to all users. It is populated locally using regionally-agreed escalation triggers and is key to all managers on call when accessing regional/cluster pressure.
The EMS functionalities underpin the surge planning strategy for all health and social care partners. This allows transparency across the whole system.
RCMT constantly works behind the scenes forging relationships with local health economy partners including health and social care, providing valuable knowledge information and communication, which is fundamental during times of pressure. EMS provides the ability to compile historic and current reporting.
Urgent Care Solutions pilot
RCMT is running a year-long pilot working across Birmingham and Solihull to develop a more effective system-wide health economy.
Operating from 7am to 10pm, seven days a week, 365 days a year, Urgent Care Solutions is commissioned by the three CCGs in Birmingham and Solihull.
- It changes the role, scope and availability of the capacity manager to provide more direct operational support throughout the emergency and urgent care patient journey.
- It provides a team of people dedicated to monitoring real-time activity and events in the system. It supports the capacity manager role and ensures early intervention.
Urgent Care Solutions works alongside all healthcare providers to challenge the way emergency and urgent care is delivered. The programme:
- Makes patients’ journeys through the health care system as free-flowing as possible
- Helps staff find solutions to problems and manage system pressures
- Supports commissioners in developing emergency and urgent care services to meet patient needs.
Achieving culture change
Collaborating with Aston University, the programme is led and facilitated by capacity managers who support service delivery on the ground and build strong health economy-wide networks. Urgent Care Solutions:
- Works closely with operational and capacity teams through the patient journey – ambulance service, 111, commissioners, primary care, acute and community services, mental health and social services
- Recognises early signs of patient flow problems in the system, identifying causes and working with operational managers to find solutions, such as reacting to norovirus and flu outbreaks, and ensuring use and awareness of community beds
- Provides six-week forecasts for the health economy area, underpinning operational plans and assisting services in working together to manage pressures
- Offers patient insight, such as demographics
- Acts as a communication centre for the health economy.