FINANCE: Consultants at Pilgrim Hospital in Lincolnshire will be given control over the discharge and admission of patients in an effort to save more than £1million.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust is spending £554,000 to recruit four new consultant physicians, three acute care practitioners and support staff to implement a new physician-led model of care.

Under the new system the consultants will be made responsible for the flow of patients through the hospital.

The trust claims the investment will improve patient care and save it £1.1m.

Problems the new consultants will be expected to tackle include making patient flow better helping to reduce lengths of stay and bed shortages.

They will also stop patients being kept in an inappropriate area of the hospital due to a lack of beds, cut cancelled operations and reduce the overuse of bank and agency staff.

Sarah Brown, deputy director service delivery, said: “The traditional model in use at Pilgrim was not designed to ease the flow of patients through the hospital but instead presented a series of barriers which needed to be overcome as the patient was pushed through the hospital.

“The new model aims to pull patients through the hospital by strengthening the team of consultant physicians and giving them control over the admission and discharge of patients.

“This means they will look to ensure that patients are in the most appropriate bed for their clinical treatment and that patients are not admitted when this is not appropriate for their health needs.”

The consultant physicians will carry out twice daily ward rounds starting at 9am and again at the end of the afternoon.

They will also GP referrals on wards to ease pressure on A&E.