A series of reforms will be introduced in A&E, the Accident and Emergency Department at the Gibraltar Health Authority. The department will be streamlined to focus on accidents, emergencies and acutely unwell patients with two Charge Nurses also being deployed to this area. Meanwhile more than 500 GP appointments have also been saved each month by new repeat prescription service .
Health Minister Neil Costa said the reforms would be introduced following the advice from the clinical leads at A&E and his Ministry in consultation with the GHA’s Medical Director.
He referred to the changes as the steadfast commitment of the Government to further improve the quality and the delivery of healthcare with a firm focus on supporting and strengthening the emergency services.
The reforms have begun with the deployment of two additional A&E Charge Nurses ensuring that a highly skilled senior member of the nursing staff leads and manages the team in every shift.
“The Charge Nurse role is crucial, as they are the front line management on the ‘shop floor’,” said a Government statement. They will be responsible for organising and supporting the whole clinical team on each shift ensuring all A&E patients receive high-quality, safe, compassionate and timely clinical care.
Sister Natasha Cerisola, nurse manager, from the A&E department said the A&E was a very busy and dynamic Department and needed strong and experienced leadership.
This reform comes after the success of the recent Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) Courses carried out in Gibraltar for the first time.
These courses were provided by the faculty from St George’s Hospital NHS Trust in London, a major teaching hospital, well known as a result of the very popular UK Channel 4 TV programme “24 Hours in A&E”.
“The intensive four-day course was hosted at the University of Gibraltar in October 2016 and again in February 2017, and ensured that our front line A&E staff are fully trained and accredited to provide gold standard clinical care. Further, the services of A&E will be streamlined in order to allow the Department to concentrate on providing timely care for accidents, emergencies and acutely unwell patients,” said the statement.
“While A&E will continue to issue initial sick certificates for patients, where appropriate, extensions of these certificates will no longer be issued from A&E. Patients who need further sick leave will need to make an appointment at the Primary Care Centre with a GP for medical review and further sick certification,” added the statement.
“The GHA’s team of GPs will make sure that those patients who may require sick certificate extensions are seen in a timely manner. “
Meanwhile the recent launch of the repeat prescription service at the PCC saved 300 routine appointments in February alone said the statement.
The forecast is that it will save at least 320 GP appointments every month.
“Additionally, the new sick note telephone service saved 192 GP appointments in March and is forecast to save over 220 appointments every month. The combined result is an increased availability of over 500 GP appointments per month. These saved appointments mean that the excellent and dedicated clinical staff of nurses and GPs will be able to spend more meaningful time with patients at their consultations. Patients and patient welfare are firmly at the heart of the Government’s reforms.”