We are delighted that Karim Ahmad has joined our Trust as Director of Emergency Care (Medical), on secondment from Barts Health.
Woking within our Emergency Departments (ED) his role involves improving performance in an area of our hospitals where we are experiencing very high demand and he will work with our teams to find solutions that have a positive long-term effect on patient and staff experience.
“I am pleased to be at BHRUT as we take on the challenges of improving the urgent and emergency care we provide to our patients,” said Karim.
“One of my key objectives is to produce a five-year improvement plan that’s independent of the role to create continuity.
“What’s really important is that we’ve started from the beginning, rather than coming in with ready-packaged ideas. We’re going back to basics and understanding what we need to have in place to look after our local population. We’re also looking to understand what staff need to have in place so they can thrive in their working environment.”
The basics Karim is referring to are making sure we have the right processes in place, the correct staffing model, and suitable space to treat patients.
“There’s very little we can do if we don’t have those right so we’re going to build from there and make improvements to address those,” he said. “On their own, these basic changes will probably have very little effect on patient and staff experience, but they form the foundations for more impactful improvements down the line.”
As well as this being a great example of our collaboration with Barts, Karim highlights the importance of our ED colleagues having strong relationships with other Trust departments and external partners across the integrated care system.
“To get this right for our patients, we need to be working closely with other specialties across our hospitals and other nearby hospitals in Essex and east London; we need to be working closely with our partners in primary care; and we need to be working closely with colleagues in the London Ambulance Service.
“Working with our community partners, such as GPs, will help to ensure only those who need to come to ED do so, and other patients get appropriate care and treatment in the most suitable place for them.
“The other crucial factor is the flow of patients out of our hospitals. We can only admit patients from our ED if medically fit patients are discharged into the community at the earliest opportunity. Being able to work with colleagues across the system to support this will have a big impact on reducing waiting times in ED.”
As well as helping to improve our four-hour emergency access performance, we are aware the past 18 months have been extremely difficult for staff and we must nurture and support them so they have a good experience at work. Happy, motivated staff provide better care for patients.
“It’s crucial that we provide working environments that are psychologically safe, give colleagues a platform to provide the positive clinical and nursing care that they aspire to, and give each individual the space and support to develop their career, while ensuring safe and quality care for our patients.”