Managing the physical environment

Elective care services need to create safe and effective processes and procedures as they start to remobilise in a world with COVID-19. This can be achieved through initiatives such as redesigning waiting rooms and establishing new maintenance processes of hospital facilities. These innovations demonstrate solutions teams are implementing and testing in order to deliver high quality care in a safe and sustainable way.


Telephone clinics and enhanced vetting reduce waiting lists by 50%

By both conducting enhanced vetting and introducing a new telephone clinic when unable to see patients face-to-face, colorectal consultants at NHS Tayside have reduced their waiting lists and continued to deliver care safely. Find out more in our innovation summary.


Mobile blood tests reduce hospital footfall

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals have created a mobile phlebotomy service in collaboration with CHS Healthcare, providing blood tests at home. Find out more in our innovation summary.


Innovative posters help maintain social distancing

To help staff and the local community follow social distancing guidelines by visualising the recommended two metres distance, a Trust has developed an innovative communication strategy. Find out more in our innovation summary.


Establishing a concierge service to support safe patient flow onsite

NHS Grampian developed a patient concierge service to minimise patient movement and contact within the hospital. Find out more in our innovation summary.


Car park waiting rooms keep patients and staff safe

During COVID-19 services sought to find innovative ways to reduce hospital footfall, adhere to social distancing regulations, and deliver essential care. Healthcare Improvement Scotland heard how an Access QI accelerator site, NHS Grampian, successfully implemented a car park waiting room to keep both staff and patients safe. Find out more in our innovation summary.


Taking the clinic on the road

When access to face-to-face homeless health services was paused in response to COVID-19, a team from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Sandyford were able to quickly adapt their mainly clinic-based service to one they could deliver almost entirely from a van. Read more in our innovation summary.


Smartphone app empowers patients with long-term conditions

Connecting with patients virtually can reduce their need to visit hospital for routine appointments. Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and ViiV Healthcare have designed a new smartphone app, which can both empower patients to be actively involved in their care decision-making, and reduce footfall at outpatient clinics. Find out more in our innovation summary.


Maintaining patient safety with reduced appointment visits

Reducing pre-operative appointments can help minimise the risk of infection whilst maintaining patient safety. The Advanced Colorectal Service Team has developed new protocols and a ‘one-stop pre-operative appointment’ system which have received positive feedback. Find out more in our innovation summary.


Social distancing in the workplace

Keeping hospitals safe and maintaining social distancing whilst delivering essential care requires new processes and procedures to be implemented at pace. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have developed a number of guides and resources to help ensure both staff and patients are safe. Find our more in our innovation summary.


Drive-through clinics
NHS Forth Valley’s drive-through clinics offer teams the opportunity to deliver essential care whilst keeping both staff and patients safe. Find out more in our innovation summary.


Managing the hospital physical environment for surgery

Houston Methodist Hospital System in Texas managed to reach 88% of their pre-COVID-19 surgical volume within four weeks. One of their key challenges was to reduce footfall to ensure staff and patient safety in the hospital. They have successfully introduced two key measures across the system:

  • A ‘virtual waiting room’ for patients coming to hospital
  • A staggered appointment schedule system

You can find further information in this case study.

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