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Insightful data

Our blogger, Dr Peter Weaving takes a closer look at some of the data for his local community hospital

In God we trust but the rest of you better bring data, was an early aphorism of my chief exec. She's kicked us into modernising and scrutinising our information flows. It's amazing what you find when you look at the intelligence – my acute trust has an average length of stay of 2.5 days. Some of our community hospitals are struggling to achieve 25 days. Now that we are moving to an ICO world the costs of those community beds moves a little closer to home. In some of our units a step-up admission is costing about nine thousand pounds; now a tariff admission to a district general hospital with a UTI complete with standard complications such as diabetes and COPD isn't going to cost you much more than four. So, if your ICO is lucky enough to include a community unit, get the spreadsheets out and check the bottom line. For sleepy, locally loved community hospitals the message is clear: to survive the new order they need to be slick, efficient and, dare I say it, competitive?

Dr Weaving is a GP and PBC locality lead in Cumbria