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Waiting lists halved for respiratory patients in Cumbria

Wed 28th January, 2015
Waiting lists halved for respiratory patients in Cumbria

The South Lakes Respiratory Team at Cumbria Partnership NHS Trust have used LiA to completely transform and improve their services for patients. The team run a pulmonary rehabilitation block programme of education and exercise for people in the area living with long term respiratory conditions.

At the start of their first round of LiA they identified a number of issues:

  • Many patients faced long waits to get access to the programme
  • Patients attending the clinics frequently dropped out and places couldn’t be filled
  • Overall completion rates needed to be improved
  • Priority was being given to patients based on geography, rather than need.

The team are always incredibly busy, and historically have had to deal with low staffing levels due to sickness, vacancy and long-term study leave. Faced with these challenges, they decided to use LiA to connect all the right people together in a team with a specific mission: to improve the availability and efficiency of their service.

Following their LiA Conversation, they decided their first action should be to clear the backlog of patients. They rallied together and made a concerted effort to do this by holding lots of extra clinics. As a result, they completely eradicated this backlog.

They then alerted patients to the fact that there were long waits for their block programmes, but that some places available at newly introduced quick access rolling clinics.

Their fantastic achievements for patients include:

  • Waiting times have been halved and the team are now able to offer appointments within 2 weeks
  • Improved clinical outcomes – there is now a higher attendance at each class, and a vast improvement in programme completion rate from 77.5% to 90%
  • The redesigned service now has the capacity to offer fast track places, with patients being seen earlier which impacts their clinical outcomes
  • The team undertook an LiA Pulse Check (which indicates how engaged and valued team members feel) at the beginning of this first round of work and then again at the end. This shows an increase from 50% to 100% in how valued in the team members feel.

The team are justifiably proud of the changes they have made for their patients. Naomi Turner (Respiratory Physiotherapist) says: “It has been a busy few months implementing the changes we needed to make, but the fantastic results we are achieving have made the challenges all worthwhile. Patients are really impressed with how quickly they are seen after referral and, as a clinician, it feels great to be able to offer such quick access to the programme”.

Being involved in LiA has also improved the way the team works together. Karen Donaldson (Clinical Lead) says: “As well as our clinical and service improvement, which we are both proud of and hoped to achieve, LiA has changed how we work as a team. We have created a culture of improved self-care where we value and support each other and, as a result, communication between the team is better, service development ideas have started to flow and the whole team have a sense of ownership over the services that we deliver”.

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LiA Update - Autumn 2014

Tue 30th September, 2014
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