2018 Outpatients & Planned Care Conference review

Last week, we delivered the penultimate project conference of the 2017/18 work programme, Benchmarking & Good Practice in Outpatients & Planned Care Services. The level of discussion was fantastic, and we appreciate the support and feedback provided by all members to identify next steps with the Outpatients project.

Project Manager, Jessica Grantham, opened the conference presenting a first look at the Planned Care benchmarking findings. The project was split into two parts; Treatment function code data, and a Commissioner survey covering governance, commissioner arrangements, and quality and outcomes. We are pleased to confirm that the project will run again in the 2018/19 work programme.

The first of our good practice presentations came from Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust on the delivery of their Outpatient Improvement Programme. They used their Nuclear Medicine outpatient procedure as a target following the consistently excellent feedback from patients and effective procedure in this department. Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust are embedding the good practice in their Trust and will continue to reduce their DNAs, bolstered by the positive feedback from patients. 

Following a short networking break, we heard from Cambridge University Hospitals on their use of data for service improvements within their Outpatients department. Andi Thornton, Operations Manager, spoke about the journey of CUH from 2015 at which point they had a CQC rating of ‘inadequate’, to 2017 where they received overall ratings of ‘good’. Sian Freeman then explained how the Trust overcame ASIs with the assistance of daily and monthly reporting tools, provided by NHS Digital, which have enabled them to reduce response times and be more patient focused.

Outpatients conference 1.PNG

We were delighted to welcome Professor Tim Briggs, National Director of Clinical Quality & Efficiency. He provided an “inspirational” presentation on the GIRFT programme, with informative updates in outpatient services. April 2018 will see a new GIRFT Clinical Lead for outpatients, which will further explore the variation in systems and processes that the Network has initially evidenced in the 2017/18 Outpatients project.

Following the national update, Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust presented their good practice: Scoping a Trust-wide Outpatient redesign project. It was fascinating to hear the initial stages of the redesign, following the more progressed stages of Manchester University Hospitals earlier in the day. Royal Devon & Exeter were able to accurately quantify the cost of re-bookings, evidencing the need for trust-wide administrative processes across their sites and henceforth, improving patient flow through the system.  

The 2017 Outpatients services benchmarking findings were then delivered by Director of the Network, Claire Holditch. This was a new project for the 2017/18 work programme and we were delighted to receive 71 submissions. The 2017 project showed that 53% of organisations have a centralised outpatient booking team, and there is an average of 8.5% DNA rate across all specialties. You can look at your organisations’ position on the online toolkit, accessed via the members’ area.

The final good practice presentation was given by East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. They have implemented a Productive Outpatient Programme to empower front line staff to redesign and improve outpatient services, with the aim to meet an 8-week turn around for first appointment from referral in Paediatrics. They have since improved the referral registration process and reduced the DNAs for new appointments from over 20% to 6%, resulting in improved patient experience.

We circulate your good practice case studies on a quarterly basis. If you would like to share your innovative working with the membership, please contact e.pruce1@nhs.net for more information.

The reports for Outpatients and Planned Care will be available in March. If you have any Outpatients project queries, please contact Chris McAuley, Project Coordinator. For any Planned Care project queries, please contact Jessica Walsh, Project Coordinator. Thank you to all who submitted to the project and attended the conference in both a delegate and presenter capacity.

If you are interested in any of our future events, please contact Emma Pruce.