Planning for increased seasonal demand in respiratory illness

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This guide sets out clear recommendations to help acute trusts and community services reduce admissions and support early discharge for patients with respiratory conditions.

Each winter, emergency departments (EDs) experience a surge in respiratory attendances and emergency admissions for respiratory conditions double. This greatly increases ED crowding, bed occupancy and the growth in outliers throughout the hospital with consequent negative impacts on patient outcomes, length of stay and experience.

It is crucial to plan for this inevitable increase in demand so that patient flow in ED is maintained.

Quick guide: planning for increased seasonal demand in respiratory illness PDF, 277.3 KB

Published by NHS Improvement and NHS England, this guide highlights proven tactical approaches to manage increased respiratory demand, including ambulatory emergency care, ‘swing beds’, early supported discharge services and urgent ‘hot’ clinics.

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