Background Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 66.6% of referrals to Pendleside Hospice resulted in an admission with bed occupancy figures of 86.6% (national average 77.7%). In April 2020, the In-patient (IPU) bed capacity increased in response to the global pandemic remaining in place until June 2021.
To review the unmet In-patient need and evaluate whether the current bed capacity meets the needs of the local community.
To evaluate the increase in bed capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Method The following data were extracted and analysed for 2018/2019, 2019/2020, 2020/2021:
No. Referrals; No. Admissions; No. Non-Admissions; % admitted; Bed Occupancy; Length of Stay; Throughput (discharges ÷ no. beds).
Conclusion Despite increasing bed capacity in April 2020 (10-18 beds) until July 2020 and remained at 14-15 beds until June 2021, the number of referrals to IPU remained the same. Due to increased capacity, more patients were admitted (81.3%) which supported the theory that IPU should permanently increase bed capacity. However, length of stay for the last 3 years is above national average (15 days) (Hospice UK, 2016) and throughput below national average (1.5). Case reviews are required for patients with a prolonged length of stay to evaluate the effectiveness of discharge planning, management plans and patient/carer expectations. Before considering increasing in-patient capacity, effective case management needs to be established minimising length of stay and maximising throughput to ensure that all patients referred to the IPU have equitable access to care (National Palliative and End of Life Care Partnership, 2021).
Innovation Evaluation of the implementation of nurse-led end of life beds within an established hospice in-patient unit to meet unmet need within the East Lancashire locality.
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