2019 Acute Therapies project – Results published

We are pleased to announce the publication of the 2019 Acute Therapies findings. The project covers; Physiotherapy (Pt), Dietetics (Dt), Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT) and Occupational Therapy (OT) services for adults. All 2019 participating organisations have now received their bespoke report. The online toolkit for this year’s benchmarking project is now available to access via the members’ area, and a high level report highlighting key issues nationally will be available later in October.

Providing comprehensive data and insight into the delivery of Therapy services, the Network’s 2019 project received data from over 250 submissions from 70 NHS organisations across England and Wales. The NHS Benchmarking Network Acute Therapies project is open to all NHS organisations that provide any of the AHP services covered by the project (Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Dietetics, and Speech & Language Therapy) in acute settings. As there is excellent geographical coverage across England and Wales in this year’s project, it is possible to provide meaningful benchmarking comparisons against a critical mass of participants and draw robust conclusions about the national picture.

The Network’s Acute Therapies project supports the AHPs into Action agenda, with key areas covered in the project. Stakeholders for the project include NHS England, NHS Improvement, the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists and AGILE (Chartered Society of Physiotherapy).

Key findings from the 2019 project include:

  • Given the digital agenda for the NHS, it is notable that approximately half of AHP data systems are currently not inter-operable with other healthcare systems.

  • All disciplines are collecting more clinical outcomes than in 2017. This is a key focus area of AHPs into Action.

  • There has been a commitment for the NHS to move towards routine services being available 7 days a week, driven by the aim of reducing variation in outcomes for patients admitted at weekends. The mean number of staff on shift on a Saturday for SaLT is 2% that of a weekday, 1% for Dt, 13% for OT and 20% for Pt.

  • The average waiting time to see an AHP therapist for an outpatient appointment has remained fairly steady for Dt (43 days) and Pt (31 days), and reduced for SaLT (37 days from 42 in 2017) and for OT (17 days from 22 in 2017).

  • The percentage of patients seen within 4 weeks has increased for OT, Dt and Pt, however, has decreased for SaLT.

Further findings from this year’s project will be presented at today’s National Findings and Good Practice Conference, taking place in London. Follow the event using #NHSBNTherapies.

The Network would like to thank all participants for their contribution to the project over the years. If you have any questions about the project, please contact Chris McAuley (Project Manager) or Alex Ng (Assistant Project Manager).