'Service Without Walls' nominated for award

Project sees reduction in bed stays from 26 days to 17

A local health project aimed at improving the referral and discharge process for elderly patients has been nominated for a prestigious services award.

The CHO 1 Cavan/Monaghan Project 'Service Without Walls' has been nominated for the Health Services Excellence Awards 2021 in the “Improving Patient Experience” category.

The project group comprised of Nursing and Allied Health professionals from acute services, at Cavan General Hospital, Older Person’s services and Primary Care services across the Cavan and Monaghan area.

An improved new referral and discharge communication process was implemented, linking acute and primary/community nursing teams.

More short term care beds were made available in older persons services in the Lisdarn unit which is located adjacent to the Cavan General Hospital facilitating patients to recuperate in a non-acute hospital environment.

The bed reconfiguration has resulted in more options for patients including, sub-acute care, Rehabilitation, Palliative care, rehabilitation and Enablement. Prior to Lisdarn Centre providing this Service patients in the Pre-discharge Unit in Cavan General Hospital had an average bed stay of 26 days. This bed stay has reduced from 26 days to a bed stay of 17 days since the short term beds opened in Lisdarn Centre.

Some 65% of patients in short term beds were discharged home and only 11% transferred to nursing home.

Rose Mooney, Service Manager said she was “absolutely thrilled” for the team to have been selected as a finalist in the Excellence in Healthcare National Awards, Improving Patient Experience category, and now in the short-listing for the winner in this category.

“At all times the team have kept the older person 'front and centre' in every decision in relation to their care journey and the ethos developed as part of this project is now firmly embedded in our service,” she said. “The project was not a once off project, it was a change of mind set developed and managed by the integrated multi-disciplinary team”.

The collaborative, inclusive and participatory nature of this project highlights strong leadership and commitment to exceptional patient care, add the HSE, who feel the project has “revolutionised” the approach to care through patient and family engagement.

“I want to acknowledge the hard work of every single team member as this project evolved, developed and came to fruition during the Covid pandemic,” stated Ms Mooney. “This service has changed the journey of many older people and has ensured that many are now discharged home with a confidence that they have gained through the work of the multidisciplinary team.”