Great Western Hospital experienced one of their busiest winters on record this year, with cancelled operations and spikes in flu.
Directors at the Marlborough Road hospital will tomorrow discuss the lessons learnt from last winter and how best to prepare for the next. Already, £1 million has been set aside by the hospital to bear the costs.
Jim O’Connell, chief operating officer, said in papers shared ahead of the meeting: “The winter plan has been developed early this year to give as much time as possible to design and implement changes to cope with the anticipated increases in acuity associated with the winter period.”
Around 70 staff from across the hospital have been consulted on the plans.
The proposals include converting four bed spaces on the emergency department and assessment units into a new waiting area. At times of high pressure, specialist nurses and doctors would be posted at the front door of the hospital to help manage patients.
A new target would be put in place for all wards, with an aim for a third of discharged patients to leave their beds by midday.
Meetings with partners at the council and Clinical Commissioning Group to identify patients medically fit enough to be discharged will continue.
The CCG will be commission 40 beds in care homes into which hospital patients could be moved.
The hospital’s new Dorcan Unit, converted from a converted office space, would be fully converted to allow it to be used for more patients.