Huge decrease in bed occupancy at Gransha after staff adopt new work model

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Staff at Gransha have achieved a huge decrease in bed occupancy at Grangewood Hospital, which now has the lowest rate in the North despite the crisis unit accounting for 35 per cent of all psychiatric admissions.

Between 2012 and November 2016 the number of bed occupancy days reduced from 1,400 to 560 at the local unit.

The remarkable decrease, which has improved patient and staff safety, was achieved after the Western Trust implemented a new work model that has been used to deliver health care improvements across the world, members of the health authority’s board were told at their monthly meeting for January.

Following the success of the ‘Microsystem Coaching’ model within the Adult Mental Health directorate at Gransha, the Trust has now been selected as the Health Foundation in Sheffield’s partner in the North.

The Health Foundation is the initiative’s champion in Britain.

Over the next few months three multi-disciplinary teams will be established across various directorates to help improve work flows and emulate Gransha’s success in delivering better patient care.

At the Board meeting, Mrs. Amanda McFadden, Assistant Director Adult Mental Health services, explained that the commencement of the ‘Microsystem Coaching’ project had coincided with the completion of the new £10.8million Grangewood Hospital in 2012.

The prospect of introducing an entirely new way of working just as staff were moving into a brand new facility had been somewhat daunting but has since reaped huge dividends.

Mrs. McFadden told the Board Grangewood had the lowest bed occupancy in the North, despite handling 35 per cent of all psychiatric admissions in the North.

She said the introduction of ‘Microsystem Coaching’ had given staff and patients greater space and time, facilitating improvements to the service.

“We are the pride of Northern Ireland in that we have the lowest occupancy rates,” she said.

According to Mrs. McFadden, the new way of working has been embraced by staff.

Dr. Deirdre McGlennon, Divisional Clinical Director, said improvements achieved between February 2012 and 2017, were marked.

For instance, in February 2012 there was an over-occupancy rate of 110 per cent, which had been safe for neither staff nor patients, Dr. McGlennon said.

But following the introducing of ‘Microsystem Coaching’ and the convention of weekly multi-disciplinary meetings to address issues, the number of bed occupancy days plummeted.

“Staff morale is night and day from what it was before to what it is now,” said Dr. McGlennon.

Eilish Deeney, team manager at the unit’s Crisis Response Home Treatment team, which provides 24/7 response to individuals in crisis agreed that despite early apprehension the new model had given staff a greater say on how their service is delivered.

“There is no hierarchy, it’s a flat model with everyone free to bring ideas on how we can work better,” she said.