21 December 2017

Successful QI project achieves waiting times reduction

The Improving Access to Learning Disability OT Service established a QI project with the aim of reducing waiting times for all referrals to 18 weeks. Click on the image to read more details.

A successful Quality Improvement (QI) project has achieved a sharp drop in times Learning Disability (LD) service users wait to access a Bedfordshire and Luton service. The Improving Access to Learning Disability OT Service established a QI project with the aim of reducing waiting times for all referrals to 18 weeks. The average wait at the start of the project was 27.05 weeks. The average wait now is 15.45 weeks.

Access the details by clicking on the image

The team had been working with a large waiting time from referral to start of intervention. Service users requiring Sensory Integration (SI) intervention were waiting up to 70 weeks. The SI patients were waiting longer because other patients with higher priority/risk needed more prompt intervention and would be prioritised.

The team used QI to re-think how the system operated and try to make the change from a reactive system to proactive. The need for change was also highlighted by the CQC during the service inspection in August 2016. The longest wait for SI referrals at the beginning of the project was more than 70 weeks. It has dropped to 21 weeks.

A driver diagram which became the team’s framework for change was designed following a brainstorming session. Change ideas that were tested included establishing telephone triage, use of smartphones for wifi and establishing a standard for the number of sessions expected for different interventions.

Project lead Debbie Alaluf, Senior Specialist Occupational Therapist and Sensory Integration Practitioner, said: “We are delighted with the results. The QI project has enabled us to review our total way of working.” QI coach Sarah Stilwell provided support throughout the project. “QI provided the tools needed and the team provided the energy, expertise and desire to drive positive change,” she said. “They were fantastic.” The QI project poster and more details are available here.

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