Developing an OPEL Measurement & Management System

What is the OPEL System?

Understanding OPELThe National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom uses the Operational Pressures Escalation Levels (OPEL) system to monitor and manage the pressure on its services. The system was introduced in 2015 and has been updated over the years to reflect changes in the NHS. This is one of the many systems which drive the compliance reporting to ensure that hospitals, Trusts and affiliate organisations are aligned in ways in which they manage capacity, incidents and patient care throughput. This system is used to set out the procedures to effectively manage day to day variations in demand across the health and social care system within a NHS hospital, Trust or affiliate organisation.
The different levels of OPEL

  • At OPEL 1, there is a low level of pressure on NHS services, and the system is functioning normally.
  • At OPEL 2, there is moderate pressure, and healthcare facilities may need to take additional steps to manage demand and capacity.
  • At OPEL 3, there is a high level of pressure, and the system may need to implement additional measures such as canceling elective surgeries or diverting patients to other facilities.
  • At OPEL 4, there is severe pressure, and the system is at risk of breaking down.
  • At OPEL 5, there is a critical level of pressure, and the system is unable to deliver comprehensive care.

Why the OPEL System is so importantOne of the key benefits of the OPEL system is that it helps healthcare providers make decisions based on a consistent understanding of the situation. By using the same terminology and criteria to assess pressure levels, healthcare providers can better coordinate their response to the situation.

The OPEL system also helps healthcare providers anticipate and prepare for periods of increased demand. By monitoring the situation and escalating the level of pressure as needed, healthcare providers can take steps to manage capacity and ensure that patients receive the care they need.

Utilising Software to Measure and Manage OPEL

The Curve & The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust
EMS System Dashboard

The Curve has partnered up with The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust (TRFT) over the past year to explore and develop a bespoke management and reporting tool, that we’ve called “Escalate”, that aims to increase efficiency and patient care, especially in high demand and heavy workload scenarios. “Escalate” is a software application used to calculate these OPEL levels for an organisation typically at hospital or Trust level.

The system is deployed as a web application, built using the NHS.UK frontend library and the NHS Digital React Implementation in order to provide a high level of familiarity for the Rotherham Foundation Trust staff that would be using this system on a daily basis.

The Escalation Management System has been designed and developed to ensure operational NHS staff and users requiring access to the system can do so and utilise its potential on a wide range of devices such as phones, laptops, tablets and more. This was one of the key aspects highlighted early on in the development cycle as being an important feature, due to the fast paced environment many Hospitals and Trusts experience and therefore the need for having a system which could be used wherever staff were was crucial.

The Escalate System featured on Channel4 recently (shown in the video right) and provided an insight into how the system is actually working in its planned, operational environment.

The report details the working of the Escalation Management System and how the data it gathers can be used as a valuable tool throughout the NHS Trust or Hospital, especially during times of high demand and pressure.

News Feature

Escalate featured on various News ReportsRecently the BBC featured Escalate and The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust on a news report. Watch the Segment below.

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