Following the redevelopment of the day case theatre complex at Chorley District General Hospital it was identified that new ways of working were required, and changes to patient processes would need to be made. Some of these were normal, expected, adaptations to be made when moving to a new working environment, such as the location and storage of equipment.
The Resuscitation and Simulation Team, led by the associate Clinical Lead for Simulation, modelled the theatre list for the first day using simulated patients and in line with the ASPiH standards . This gave the theatre staff the opportunity to run through cases in real time and gauge when patients needed to be sent for, how long was needed for setting up, and at what time they could safely call for the next patient without causing unnecessary delays or having patients waiting in corridors. Each step in the process was followed by a debriefing so that the actions could be discussed and any changes made.
The feedback was positive and team members found it extremely useful to simulate their upcoming lists. As expected, there were several patient flow related issues raised, mainly around timings and logistics (Table 1). The day also allowed teams to anticipate other minor issues such as kit storage, stocking and availability to ensure the theatre lists ran smoothly on the day.
Simulation of normal business can be successfully used to improve patient safety and the confidence of clinical staff when developing new clinical areas.
1. Association for Simulated Practice in Healthcare. Simulation-Based Education in Healthcare. 2016. Standards Framework and Guidance. Association for simulated practice in healthcare (ASPiH) standards for simulation-based education. https://aspih.org.uk/standards-framework-for-sbe/ [Accessed on 26/06/2022]