Optimising Flow, Demand & Capacity

What is Optimising Flow?

The Covid19 pandemic, our growing population and the increasing acuity and complexity of healthcare needs have all contributed to an increase in demand for our services. Our capacity, i.e. the staff and resources available to support our patients, needs to match this demand in order to maintain good quality care. By matching demand and capacity we can optimise the flow of patients through our systems, i.e. reduce waiting times and improve patient pathways with the resources we have.

What can we do?

At ELFT, it’s our mission to improve the quality of life for all we serve. Collectively we need to improve patient access to care. Quality Improvement (QI) is ELFT’s organisational approach to help us tackle complex problems and issues. In June 2022, we began a year-long QI programme to help teams identify and then seek to improve patient flow.

The content of the programme will include:

  • Improving teams’ understanding of what contributes to bottlenecks in our systems
  • Learning how to use QI to measure demand and capacity and test ideas for improvement
  • Increasing the capability and confidence of our teams to improve patient flow
  • Having opportunities to hear from and share with colleagues and service users the wins and challenges with the work so far.

Get involved:

Whether you have already identified demand and capacity issues in your service or you are new to this work, if you would like to use QI to help you tackle patient flow issues then join the ‘Optimising Flow QI Programme’ starting in June. You’ll be able to connect with others doing similar work every two months in virtual sessions designed in partnership with People Participation, the Performance Team and clinical leads. You will be supported to use improvement methods to better understand what contributes to long waiting lists and ‘did not attend’ rates within our services. You will develop an improvement plan, including a way to measure whether the changes you make are leading to improvement.

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