Better Care

Getting ready for winter

BCHC’s Board has approved the Trust’s winter plan for 2019/20. The plan, which integrates with those of its STP partners, is designed to ensure that BCHC services are well-prepared to operate safely through winter and that the Trust plays its full part in supporting Birmingham acute hospitals to respond to winter pressures.

Each year, all sites and community services experience increased pressure in patient flow. To help deal with that likely pressure the winter plan prepares the organisation, with support from the health and care community in Birmingham, to:

  • focus on admission avoidance schemes, namely to provide alternatives to acute admission and utilising ambulatory care pathway;
  • support safe, early discharge of patients in both the acute and community inpatient beds with supportive, responsive care packages to reduce length of stay in all these locations;
  • create the capacity to meet increased demand and respond to escalation in the system;
  • link the Trust's winter plan to the STP system A&E plans;
  • robustly performance manage the system to maintain safety, quality, and increased activity.

The plan, which takes into account key pressures that arise from winter, as well as areas of learning from last year’s experiences, includes 20 schemes specifically designed to help the wider system provide for patients through the period of potential bad weather, including:

  • providing additional presence at acute ‘front door’;
  • introducing the early intervention bed model pilot;
  • a focus on patients at high risk of admission;
  • early support discharge;
  • some extended evening and weekend service provision.