The Access Team at North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust have used LiA to make some fantastic improvements to their service. Nicky Griffiths, LiA Lead for the first 12 months of their journey, tells their story:
“Our Access team is, in effect, the front door to our organisation. It is the single point of access to all the Mental Health Services. We were operating an 8am to 8pm service Monday to Friday, and 9am to 5pm at a weekend. There were significant waiting times and systems in place that weren't helping staff.
We had a very compelling case for change – our reputation was not great, we had received regular complaints, there had been serious incident investigations, we had pressure from commissioners for improved outcomes, and we had a high bed occupancy.
Our team wanted to tackle these issues and make changes to benefit our service users. We defined our mission: 'To develop a consistent approach for all patients at point of access and to simplify the process resulting in a better service for service users, staff and other organisations’.
By connecting 'all the right people' through the LiA way of working, pooling ideas, and acting on 'big impact' changes together, we moved to a 24/7 service within 2 months. All processes, assessments and interventions were reviewed and amended to ensure a smooth, seamless and equitable service to all who access our service from referral to discharge. We have also put in place a designated GP hotline to support decision making about patient care.
We have seen some fantastic outcomes as a result of these changes, including:
- 75% increase in urgent cases been seen within 4 hours
- 19% increase in new referrals
- 14% increase in discharges
- 55% reduction in DNA rates
- Non-urgent referrals now seen within a week - down from 9 weeks.
We now hold a regular programme of quality workshops for staff - held fortnightly - which has helped staff to improve their skills".