Newham Secondary Care Psychological Services was faced with increased calls for talking therapies. The service, while remaining committed to providing quality care and better outcomes for people in therapy, also recognised the needs of those waiting to be seen.
The service set out to reduce waiting times between referral and assessment by 25% and reduce time between assessment and treatment to 30 weeks. They introduced new data systems to capture referrals, reduce DNAs to improve efficiency and improve retention of people in therapeutic programmes.
A Driver Diagram and PDSA cycles were used to generate and test improvement ideas.
Average time from referral to assessment was reduced by 25%
Waiting time for assessment was reduced from between 10 and 15 weeks to between 2 and 3 weeks
Waiting time from assessment to therapy assessment was reduced from between 40 and 45 weeks to between 28 weeks
Service user satisfaction improved.
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Clean data with support from informatics is crucial
Facilitative, reflective space needed to reduce barriers to change
Consider and address human factors such as competition, cynicism and anxiety about performance.