The Parliamentary Review of Health and Social Care reiterates the need for a whole system approach and integration across health and social services.
The SAFER Patient Flow Guidance document is the first in a series of quick guides published by Welsh Government, that will act as key enablers for an overarching good practice guide on Improving Patient Flow, aimed at a range of agencies including health, social services, housing, wider statutory and third sector organisations who play increasingly important parts in people’s lives.
The Improving Patient Flow guide identifies ten areas of focus to support flow across the unscheduled care patient pathway and SAFER fits into one of these ten areas, relating to transfers of care.
SAFER consists of five elements of best practice, summarised as:
S – Senior review of all patients before midday, informed by a multi-disciplinary assessment.
A – All patients, and their families involved in the setting of an Expected Discharge Date.
F – Flow of patients at the earliest opportunity from assessment units to inpatient wards.
E – Early discharge, with at least a third of patients discharged from inpatient wards by midday on their day of discharge.
R – Review involving multi-disciplinary team, patients and their families for those with extended lengths of stay.
The outcomes set out in SAFER cannot be delivered by practitioners working in isolation. The best outcomes are delivered when these organisations work in partnership and offer an integrated approach in the wider context of what health and social care can do together.
You can read the full joint letter of endorsement for this guidance by the Welsh Government Director of Social Services & Integration, Albert Heaney and the Chief Executiveof NHS Wales, Dr Andrew Goodall here.