The chief executive of a major acute hospital trust has outlined a series of actions being taken to turnaround the trust’s poor accident and emergency performance.

In an email to staff, shared with HSJ, John Adler, chief executive of University Hospitals of Leicester Trust, outlined plans for the “September surge”, to begin on Friday.

The plans outlined by Mr Adler include increasing the number of senior doctors working overnight in the A&E and ensuring “the rota is fully populated”. Managers will also monitor the emergency department more to so the “four hour window is maximised”.

There will also be a whole hospital “safety huddle” held in the A&E with emergency consultants and key acute specialty consultants. Senior decision makers from acute specialties will also review patients in A&E and “expedite an admission plan or discharge”.

Other actions set out by Mr Adler include:

  • An early phlebotomy service from 7am for selected wards at Leicester Royal Infirmary and Glenfield Hospital, and during the second week of the “surge” there will be increased therapy services direct into the A&E.
  • Medical wards will accept patients directly where possible with patients arriving by ambulance referred by a GP going straight to the acute medical unit.

In his message to staff, Mr Adler said: “As you know, we are going to be kick starting the new approach from 1 September with the ‘September surge’. This is a 14 day period in which we will be increasing focus on getting the basics right and also testing a range of new ideas. Those that work will then be embedded so that the surge does not become a flash in the pan.

“This is such an important initiative for our patients and wider community and I know that you will give it your maximum support.”

Earlier this month Mr Adler sent a message to staff criticising the trust’s poor performance and warning staff it could not continue. He highlighted failure to improve across the hospital in terms of patient flow.

In his latest email, he thanked staff for their efforts so far. He said: “As an executive team we have been gratified by the level of engagement and the willingness of colleagues to do things differently in order to improve things for patients. This is a good start but we need to push on.”

He included a list of basic principles that staff need to remember. These were:

  • “We are all responsible for all patients – not just the patients in front of us.
  • “Get today’s work done today – if we don’t it is probably going to be a “red” non-value added day for a patient.
  • “This applies as much to support as well as clinical services – and includes all members of every team.
  • “Be focused on this as a critical patient safety and experience issue.
  • “Efficient patient flow through the organisation provides a better experience for staff.”