Michael McGlade talks success – the New Northumbria’s Discharge Lounge
This has been a rewarding project to work on, especially given the circumstances. Establishing a purpose built, well-ran discharge lounge has been a longstanding ambition for The Northumbria hospital. With COVID-19, a demand for hospital space arose, and so it made sense to bring this project forward.
We’ve always had a discharge lounge for patients but, like other trusts in the region, it was a make shift set up moving across various locations depending on the availability of space. This investment means that we now have a purpose built facility on the second floor of the hospital, with a designated team to staff it.
It took us just six weeks to complete the project, with hard work and determination from all of those involved. We had to agree the plans and scope out exactly who needed to be involved to ensure the project was a success. From involving the Stores team, to including colleagues from Pharmacy, we made sure that every aspect was covered. Even moving a huge Omnicell fridge on site!
The benefits of having a dedicated discharge lounge are huge – not least for patients, who will have a comfortable place of rest before their discharge. Whether they are going home, to a care home or even to another hospital, the unit ensures their needs are considered and met before they leave the hospital.
It also brings great benefits for staff too, who are given the opportunity to work on a specialist unit working with all kind of patients. The team is made up of a band 7 nurse, two band 6s, a team of band 5 nurses and nursing assistants, offering genuine career opportunities that may not have been considered before. It means patients will receive the right level of care in the right place, freeing up beds for those who need them most.
It would not have been possible to deliver a project of this scale in such a short space of time without a collaborative approach across multiple business units. From ward managers to Supplies to Estates, we have included a vast input of expertise from across the board. These unprecedented times have really demonstrated how quickly we can implement change when the need arises.