The PSC case-studies: entry

Case Study: Transforming how a community care provider manages its waiting times

The PSC supported a large provider of community healthcare to transform its approach to reporting and managing waiting times for patients across its portfolio of services.

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Our team worked collaboratively with staff in the corporate centre and across seven large business units to:
• Design an ideal future state for managing waiting times optimally
• Conduct a gap analysis, comparing this future state with the current position
• Develop a phased improvement programme plan
• Carry out a rapid diagnostic, assessing the impact of COVID-19 on specific waiting lists and suggest steps towards recovery

Waiting times best practice: an ideal future state

We worked with operational, data analytics and clinical systems teams across the organisation – as well as bringing in outside expertise – to design an ideal future state. This model incorporated foundational and best practice in waiting times data capture, data quality assurance, insightful reporting, robustly governed decision-making, and sustained improvement work.

Wide-ranging view of the current position: a gap analysis

We analysed the current state of play by examining what waiting times metrics were being recorded, mapped against service contracts. We then assessed how waiting times data was captured, reported and managed. We took a ‘bottom-up’ approach via deep-dives into specific services and interviews with regional teams. We also took a ‘top-down’ approach, incorporating perspectives from colleagues in the corporate centre. Synthesising our findings from both approaches, we identified cross-cutting areas of good practice and key gaps.

Setting up for successful improvement: a phased programme plan

We agreed a shortlist of six priority improvement projects with the working group to close these gaps. In collaboration with internal leads, we developed implementation plans and timelines for each. Taking a complex set of dependencies into account, we devised an overall programme plan phased feasibly over three years.

Assessing the impact of COVID-19: a rapid diagnostic

To understand the patient impact of COVID-19, we analysed changes in referral numbers, activity and waiting times across the organisation, as well as suggesting next steps for recovery. This provided the Executive team with an overview of recent performance trends and future risks, to help inform their decision-making about post-COVID-19 priorities.

Outcome

Our client got to a clear view of their areas of strength and challenge on waiting times, and took forward a tangible improvement plan with strong buy-in from staff.

The value of The PSC’s collaborative and rigorous approach shone through in feedback:

‘The PSC leaving will feel like members of our organisation leaving. You've helped us to discuss all the right topics, and it's clear you've done a lot of work behind the scenes.’

‘This is a great piece of work, and the plan is exactly what we needed. You've been emotionally intelligent and done a great job of supporting and taking our people with us.’

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