Efficiency call report highlights UCLH work 

06/11/2014 00:00 
The work of staff at UCLH to make patient services and procedures more efficient has been highlighted by national media.

BBC Health correspondent Adam Brimelow spent a morning with consultant surgeon Jeremy Lavy from UCLH’s Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital to see how doctors there are taking the initiative to reduce costs by adopting a lean approach to the surgical equipment they use.

The team’s work was used to illustrate the findings of a report by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, which believes that nearly £2bn of savings could be made across the NHS if frontline staff change practices. Measures range from avoiding adverse drug reactions to managing clinics better to reduce waiting time for patients, something which UCLH has been focusing on over the last few years with the Productive Outpatient programme.

The programme challenges how we work to improve waiting times for patients, freeing up capacity and making the most of staff and patient time.

Jeremy demonstrated how he and his team had revisited the number of surgical instruments needed for cochlear implants, stripping their equipment down from 96 tools taken into the operating theatre to just 28. The reduction means a quicker turnaround in cleaning kits and making them available for operations, and lower costs on sterilisation and transport.

Jeremy said: “Doctors have a responsibility because we're in the best position to say I can use this one, I don't need to use that. A manager can't make that decision whereas we are ideally positioned and we have a responsibility to make sure we do that properly.”

Since Productive Outpatients was introduced, teams who have found new ways of working have reduced waiting times for new and follow-up appointments by up to 87 per cent. The RNTNEH has introduced a one-stop service for cochlear implant patients which means just one visit to a clinic for patients, rather than waiting for six weeks between tests and appointments.

Medical Director Gill Gaskin, who launched Productive Outpatients in 2011, said: “Our whole approach is to allow and encourage front-line staff to look at services and redesign them so that patients get a better service from us. Some teams have radically changed how they deliver services, introducing telephone consultations and one-stop services, and 93 per cent of teams that have adopted Productive Outpatients have increased their discharge rates and greatly reduced did-not-attend rates.”

You can watch the full report (starting at 8 mins 18 secs) at http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04n5m23/bbc-news-at-one-06112014

To view the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges report, go to http://www.aomrc.org.uk/



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