Modules from an analytical command centre set up at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust have been adopted across seven London NHS trusts to help with their response to Covid-19.

The command centre is a series of screens based at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary site which shows live information about a patient before they enter the trust’s hospitals, during their stay and when they are discharged home.

The London trusts, which have not been named, have adopted two modules from the command centre:

  • ambulance messaging which alerts staff to how many ambulances are predicted, details of patient type and visibility of incoming Covid-19 risks
  • bed management messaging which gives staff access to the bed status across each ward on every site on any device and flags where patients have Covid-19

The trust developed the command centre with QlickiT and can fit with any NHS patient systems.

Rob O’Neill, Hhead of information, UHMBT, said: “This safe and effective model is testament to the hard work of my team and our partners QlickiT. We’re delighted that other trusts in the country have adopted the command centre model to help them with the flow of patients in and out of their organisations during Covid-19 and beyond.”

The command centre is part of a different set of activities that have been implemented in the emergency setting at the trust to help staff to improve patient management, care and experience.

Other benefits of the command centre include:

  • Showing which patients are due for discharge and themes of why there may be delays
  • Highlighting the performance in the emergency departments (ED) which allows staff to see the number of walk-ins and if there has been a surge in patients
  • Showing the number of admissions to hospital through outpatient appointments and departments such as the ambulatory care unit.

The trust holds patient flow meetings every two hours in the command centre which helps teams to better analyse the emergency care setting and patient flow in and out of the hospital.

The command centre has been designed to work in a similar way to airport Air Traffic Control and displays live and predictive information about patients throughout their hospital stay, from incoming patients travelling via ambulance to patients waiting for discharge home.

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay is not the only trust to have a command centre. In October 2018, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust opened a new data ‘command centre’ designed to provide a real-time overview of patient flow and operational bottlenecks.