25 June 2024

Transforming Dual Diagnosis Care in Luton: A Progress Update

In this 5-minute update read about the progress of the QI project in Luton, which aims to improve the care of dual-diagnosis service users.  

by Chloe Preston, Improvement Advisor 

Back in September, we highlighted the collaborative efforts of Luton Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) and external organisations to enhance the care of individuals with coexisting mental health challenges and alcohol or drug misuse. These individuals experience intense challenges, often suffering severe health, well-being, and social consequences You can read more about this work here. 

Figure 1: Stakeholders discussing the progress of the work

Recently, the team held their third in-person workshop, with stakeholders from Luton CMHTs, ResoLUTiONs, Total Wellbeing Luton (TWB), and Community-Led Initiatives (CLI). The aim of the workshop was to provide an update on the project’s progress, understand stakeholder perspectives, and collectively discuss the next steps. 

The session kicked off with a presentation of current data. Among other measures, staff members were shown a run chart depicting service user satisfaction with their joint care. The team plan to create a control chart, once they have collected enough data points, which will help them better understand variation within their system. 

Figure 2: The project team presented a run chart of data collected so far, showing service user satisfaction with their joint care

There was also an opportunity to hear from a service user and a carer on the project team. They shared their experiences of joint care, the changes they’ve observed since the project began, and the areas they believe still need improvement. 

The next session required stakeholders, including key workers, to reflect on any changes they may have noticed in their daily practice. Utilising nominal group technique, followed by a 1-2-4-all discussion, stakeholders were prompted to consider what new information they had learned that day, what changes they had noticed in practice, and what they might be doing differently as individuals.  

Feedback from keyworkers indicated that ResoLUTiONs has been receiving an increased number of referrals from CMHTs and TWB, with the admin team ensuring these referrals are seen by multiple disciplines. Regular interface meetings between the organisations have proven to be effective for information sharing and collaborative decision-making. However, it was noted that key workers sometimes waited until these meetings to communicate, rather than reaching out to relevant individuals outside of this context. It was also reported that while care plans are being shared across organisations, there are still challenges in jointly creating them due to different systems being used within the different organisations. 

The final activity of the session was forward-looking. A TRIZ activity was conducted, prompting staff to identify counterproductive activities, in order to make room for innovation. This activity was then used to develop actions for the next three months. These actions included encouraging key workers to communicate outside of interface meetings, developing information packs to supplement the ongoing cross-organisation training, and inviting more service users and carers to share their views on dual diagnosis. 

Figure 3: The activities identified that could be counterproductive to the project, and actions that emerged to overcome these.

As staff, service users, and carers continue to navigate this journey, they remain committed to fostering collaboration, enhancing communication, and driving innovation to ensure the highest quality of care for dual-diagnosis service users. 

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