As the flu season draws to a close, patient numbers inevitably increased over the winter, leading many Trusts to take stock and keep a look out for solutions. Last year, the Royal Devon and Exeter (RDE) NHS Foundation Trust ran a pilot scheme showing how adopting highly accurate, laboratory quality testing on admission can help to control the spread of influenza and mitigate the effect this can have on patient flow and bed management.
The RDE NHS Foundation Trust is an 800bed acute Trust, employing more than 8000 staff. The hospital serves the population of Exeter, Mid and east Devon, with over 120,000 admissions every year. In common with most hospitals in the UK, the RDE has a robust infection control strategy developed in close association with the pathology team, which aims to tackle hospital acquired infections and seasonal epidemics such as influenza.
In the last few years, upwards of a thousand patients have been tested for flu every season. The hospi