Building a winter plan is an annual exercise for every health and care system. However, levels of demand and wide-ranging internal priorities mean that health and care systems often struggle to build credible plans that inspire confidence.
While winter plans can be long and complicated, the best plans have a simple narrative that is easy to explain. We have identified five elements that build on each other to provide the essence of a compelling plan, changing the plan from purely a document that has to be produced to a practical tool to manage expected increases in demand.
It is essential to start by addressing the first element that is missing and work down, as the elements build on each other.
In addition to a coherent plan, the system must have a way to react in a coordinated and pro-active manner when performance is challenged. Our work has identified the following key elements of an escalation workflow:
We are keen to hear from you – how are you preparing for winter, could you benefit from a focus on pro-active planning?