Special Delivery Unit-Unscheduled Care

The Special Delivery Unit (SDU) was established to free up access to acute services by improving the flow of patients through the system. The national targets for Emergency Department wait times are:

  • < 95% of all new ED patients to wait less than 6 hours. Patient Experience Time (PET) is measured from Arrival to ED Departure time.
  • 100% of all new ED patients to wait less than 9 hours. Patient Experience Time (PET) is measured from Arrival to ED Departure time.

The SDU has recently published its Unscheduled Care Strategic Plan (Q1, 2013). It reiterates the SDU’s approach to supporting performance improvement, including as indicated in Unscheduled Care Technical Guidance (2011):

  • The development of a performance diagnostic tool for sites at risk of poor performance
  • The continued introduction of formal performance improvement methodologies
  • The identification of external intensive support where required
  • The use of hospital scorecards as a performance tool

Click here » to download the Unscheduled Care Technical Guidance (2011).

SDU launches Unscheduled Care Strategic Plan 2013 Q1. The Plan sets out the expectations associated with unscheduled care performance improvement in 2013 in terms of clarifying roles and responsibilities and improving the use of data. Click here » to download the Strategic Plan 


High Impact Changes – Improving Patient Flow (Part 1) 

The first in a series of Unscheduled Care Technical Guidance, entitled High Impact Changes, Improving Patient Flow (Part 1) was issued in March 2013. This technical guidance adopts the High Impact Change methodology utilised internationally in order to bring targeted, discrete changes to areas that have maximum impact. Using the thematic areas outlined in the SDU Unscheduled Care Strategic plan, the guidance is intended to guidance improvement methodology in patient flow and is relevant to all levels of the organisation involved in addressing unscheduled care.

Click here to view the Unscheduled Care Technical Guidance Interactive Toolkit 


Technical Guidance - Introducing Demand and Capacity Planning

The second in a series of Unscheduled Care Technical Guidance, entitled “Introducing Demand and Capacity Planning” was issued in October 2013. This technical guidance introduces some key concepts associated with demand and capacity planning and signposts essential resources that facilitate an enhanced understanding of the topic. It is intended for use by key clinical leaders and operational managers who have responsibility for scheduled and unscheduled care improvement. 

Click here to view the Unscheduled Care Technical Guidance Interactive Toolkit for Demand and Capacity Planning 


Technical Guidance - Introducing Demand and Capacity Planning

Click here » to download the Unscheduled Care Technical Guidance, entitled “Introducing Demand and Capacity Planning”. 


INMO Count

The INMO Trolley Count is the definitive indicator of (admitted) ED patients waiting on trolleys. The key measure will be the 30 Day Moving Average period to period basis. This data inputted x 3 per day by hospitals and correlated with the INMO each morning represents the performance in terms of accessing an inpatient bed within the target times. The table below outlines the performance for 2012 which saw a 23% reduction in ‘trolley waits’. 

See Department of Health >>