Pressure on inpatient hospital beds is a long-standing issue – and one that took on greater significance during the pandemic. Alternative ways are being sought to treat patients safely and appropriately away from hospital, by avoiding unnecessary admissions and getting patients home sooner. During the pandemic there were additional benefits from looking after patients safely outside hospital.
Elastomeric devices are small pumps used to administer medication such as intravenous (IV) antibiotics or chemotherapy which can play an important role in giving patients the best possible care. Because they can be used in patients’ homes they can help ease pressure on hospitals, supporting them to remain at home and facilitating earlier discharge for people who are only in hospital to receive IV antibiotics. With an elastomeric pump at home patients who might need antibiotics several times a day can safely have a single daily visit from health professionals.
Sophie McGlen, Ambulatory Care Lead Pharmacist at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, initiated a new pathway introducing elastomeric devices into clinical practice using learning from her participation in the Oxford AHSN Adopting Innovation and Managing Change in Healthcare Settings support programme. By April 2023 this approach had led to these impacts:
- More than 230 patients benefited
- Almost 3,200 hospital bed days freed up
- This equates to more than £1 million costs avoided
Supporting resources can be accessed using the menu on the right of this page. These include a series of short, pre-recorded presentations, an interactive implementation support document, an overview of service models at other NHS organisations and links to useful published resources and papers.