MEET the nurse who is leading innovations to cut waiting times in Warrington Hospital’s A&E department.

Nick Stackhouse joined Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as consultant nurse in emergency medicine 18 months ago.

The new role saw him tasked with working clinically in the A&E department alongside developing strategies to improve patient care.

And these innovations are already having an impact.

Nick said: “We’ve looked at ways we can improve and decompress the A&E department.

“One of the nurse-led innovations we’ve done has been to introduce our navigator streaming process.

“When patients now arrive here - instead of waiting long periods of time to be book in, be triaged and eventually see a doctor - we have trained nurses at the front of the department who can see someone immediately on arrival.

“Patients are then sent directly to the area that they need to be seen in, assessed in that area and then sent directly to a clinician.

“That has had a massive impact on our waiting times in the department, and that has been nurse-led -we’ve innovated that process here.

“We have some very dedicated people in the department who all have specialist skills and who are all able to make sure that the patients get the right care in the right place at the right time.”

First qualifying as a nurse in 1995, the A&E department remains Nick’s ‘real passion’.

He added: “Emergency medicine has always been my real passion, and I think the reason for that is that it’s so varied.

“You have no idea what it is you’re going to be dealing with - it could be a cut finger one minute, and the next minute it could be intra-abdominal trauma.”

Nick is one of six consultant nurses who have been appointed at Warrington Hospital in the past few years, with the trust hoping to develop its own workforce while improving experiences for patients.

He said: “The beauty of having the nurse consultant role is that it develops new services and new innovations, and it helps to inspire and move services forward.

“It’s these innovations that are really helping to move our ability to meet patient care needs forward.

“We’re really keen to use the skills of our nurses and health professionals to give patients the best possible care and the best time they can get it.

“We need to develop strategies that will support the whole workforce to develop clinical skills and improve standards of care - we’re really pushing the boundaries.”