11 June 2020

Reflections on continuing a QI project during the Covid 19 pandemic

By Chris Spanton, QI coach in the IAPT Directorate

Our QI Journey…

Our QI project was aimed at reducing the average waiting time for one of our services, Step 3 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT),  to 12 weeks, by November 2020.

Driver diagram created by the project group

John, the project lead, put together a wonderful, and experienced team  who had met reguarly prior to the lockdown. As a QI coach for this project, I learnt about the benefit of working with service users, especially Robbie. Robbie provided insights that we could not have anticipated,  and he also kept us focused on the value of the project. Working with Robbie inspired me to develop new ideas for my work at Newham Talking Therapies, which has helped enhance our services.

When the lockdown hit, I assumed our work would be put on hold. Amazingly, John was able to continue with the project seamlessly, as we continued to meet on Webex.

Average days each week to move from CBT Wait List into treatment (run chart)

Chart showing impact of lockdown on average waiting list times

Being able to keep the project going was inspiring,  as it shows that QI can continue, and helps us adapt to new circumstances. Being able to connect with others on the project was alsi a welcome focus during lock-down, as it helped create an sense of normality, during a time when things did not feel normal.

“Continuing the project in these times enabled us to learn from our service users that a positive experience of waiting for treatment (e.g. good communication, support while waiting) can feel just as important as the length of the wait itself. This has generated some exciting ideas about how service user-led groups and workshops could help with both wait times and patient experience.” John Whitehead, Project Lead

Written by Chris Spanton, QI coach in the IAPT Directorate

Senior High Intensity Therapist – Groups & Digital Therapies Lead

Newham Talking Therapies

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