A NEW command centre at the Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI) is set to "transform care".

It was officially opened yesterday by Sarah Wilkinson, Chief Executive of NHS Digital – the national information partner to the health and social care system.

The Command Centre will help staff optimise patient flow and allow real-time co-ordination of care for every patient.

With the use of advanced analytics, the new system will provide staff with real-time information to help them make quick and informed decisions on managing patient flow.

The Bradford Teaching Hospitals Trust, which includes the BRI and St Luke's among its hospitals, says the centre is already having an impact - resulting in faster ambulance transfer times, patients moving through hospital faster and more efficiently without unnecessary delays, getting home quicker and fewer cancelled operations due to winter pressures.

Bradford’s Command Centre went live earlier this year and it is expected that it will be fully operational by spring 2020.

Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive at the Trust, Sandra Shannon, said: “Demand for services is growing at Bradford Teaching Hospitals every year, with up to 400 patients coming through our A&E every day, and we have to get smarter at how we manage the needs of patients with the resources we have.

"The Command Centre is a major investment in how we, as a very busy acute Trust, can improve our performance, maintain and improve patients’ experience of coming into hospital and support our staff to do their jobs more efficiently, so they can concentrate on delivering excellent patient care.”

Dr Brad Wilson, Command Centre Medical Director, said the Command Centre will eventually show a complete picture of activity, delays and issues that can be acted on.

“We’re looking for every opportunity to improve our services and ultimately transform services, so, a simple thing like bringing different teams together in the Command Centre already cuts down on duplication, saves time and stops people working in isolation.

“It’s a game-changer as it will help us manage patients more effectively through our hospitals. We have got fantastic, committed staff who come to work to do a good job, and this will help them do this better and help our whole hospitals run effectively, perform better, and improve patients’ experience of being cared for here.”

Bradford’s Command Centre allows the Trust to see a full picture of hospital activity in real-time, so staff can intervene and make changes that directly affect patient care and flow.

The system provider, GE Healthcare, has helped the Trust collate and display this data in real-time, which affects how patients are managed throughout the whole system.

Command Centre staff will monitor a ‘wall of analytics’ that constantly pulls in streams of data from the Trust’s electronic patient record system and draws on many other, separate sources of data from across the hospitals, to make sense of what’s happening and why, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week.

It will also allow persistent problems to be addressed and patterns and themes to be flagged up and prioritised.

Jeff Terry, Chief Executive Officer, Clinical Command Centres at GE Healthcare. added: “Bradford Command Centre is already benefitting caregivers and patients. Bradford had the courage to prove the potential of this toolkit in the NHS’s context and in the process create a blueprint for hospitals across Europe to consider and build upon. We’re honoured to serve the Bradford team.”