We are pleased to announce, in collaboration with the other Royal Colleges of Physicians of the UK, the release of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine’s guidance for the development of Enhanced Care in the acute hospital setting. The guidance outlines a framework to consider when creating a service for patients whose care needs fall into the gap between what can be provided on a normal ward and in critical care. By keeping patients as the focus, and accepting that there will be different drivers for implementation, multiple models will be required so we provide examples of how this has worked in a variety of situations. To ensure there is an overarching governance structure we recommend a set of principles to follow during development and implementation, including close liaison with critical care so that there can be seamless transition for patients should they need it.
The benefits of Enhanced Care are far reaching but most importantly, it will bridge the current gap to ensure that patients receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time and by the right people.
Implementation of Enhanced Care services also has the potential to improve patient flow, support operative scheduling and release capacity within critical care, which is absolutely vital in the current landscape.
We hope that investment in the development of Enhanced Care services will have an impact on the degree of critical care expansion currently required and be a much more efficient use of resource. In light of COVID-19, it also offers the potential to utilise the skills that non-critical care staff have acquired during the pandemic for the continued benefit of patients.
Supprting the publication of this guidance, College President Professor Jackie Taylor said:
The current health crisis has shown us all the need for professional, flexible care if we’re to meet our patients’ diverse range of needs. This guidance will help achieve this, and that’s why we fully support it.
Dr Alison Pittard, Dean, Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine added:
Bridging the gap, enhancing care: a service development with the patient at its very heart