The nursing team at Worthing Hospital’s A&E department, part of UHSussex, has earned the Star of the Month award for their exceptional dedication, professionalism, and team effort in significantly reducing ambulance turnaround times.
Typically, when an ambulance arrives at a hospital, the goal is to transfer patients to clinical care within 15 minutes. However, various operational challenges, such as spikes in demand, can lead to longer handover times and subsequent delays.
In the South East region, average ambulance handover times at 18 local hospitals stand at 44%. Remarkably, Worthing’s emergency department has surpassed the national target, achieving a 70% performance rate, a feat matched by the Princess Royal Hospital, also part of UHSussex.
This achievement is the result of continuous improvement efforts over the past six months, utilising the Trust’s Patient First Improvement Programme. These enhancements have now become a standard part of their operations, leading not only to better operational efficiency and patient care but also enabling the South East Coast Ambulance Service to attend to more calls and assist a greater number of patients in the Sussex community.
Julie Thomas, Divisional Director of Nursing said: “Patient care is at the heart of this with the emergency department staff pulling together as a team to offload and release ambulances even when under great pressure.”
The very strong caring culture within the department means they always put their patients first, recognising and understanding the importance of getting ambulances back out on the road to go to calls often desperately needing their support.
“This team continues to strive daily to ensure timely care for all patients who attend A&E by ambulance or walk-in routes, with the leadership team constantly reviewing and adapting ways of working to prioritise excellent care for all patients.”
“Overall, the compassion shown to all patients and colleagues despite daily challenges of a busy emergency department is truly exceptional.”
A patient who was cared for by the emergency department nursing team, said: “What a lovely, caring hospital. From admission through A&E to discharge later in the evening I experienced the highest standards of care and compassion. The department was so busy but every interaction I observed was unhurried, kind and professional. I went home feeling as if the health professionals at that hospital really cared about me as an individual.”
Tori Cooper, Hospital Director of Nursing at Worthing added: “Our teams in A&E are working extremely hard to see the patients who need to see us, the focus on patient care, experience and continuous improvement in often very challenging circumstances is to be commended.”
“Thank you to our nursing team at Worthing emergency department for adding to this and showing your commitment and professionalism to UHSussex.”