Meet the team
Head of Continuous Improvement
Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- England - North West Coast
- Jackie Davies, Divisional Planning Manager
- Suzanne Lewis, Business Performance Assistant
What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to your chosen theme?
Demand across acute outpatient services continues to increase; creating an imbalance between demand and capacity. This imbalance can impact the length of time patients are waiting to access traditional outpatient appointments.
A recent study estimates that each year about 2% of people in a general practice will present with back pain and up to 5% of these will show features of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) [Underwood and Dawes, 1995]. There are around 200,000 diagnosed cases in the UK [DH, 2006] and it most commonly begins between the ages of 20 and 30, with 90–95% of people aged less than 45 years at disease onset [Sieper, 2012]. A proportion of AS patients could benefit from remote monitoring during the earlier stages of their diagnosis which in turn would release capacity for the more chronic patients.
The challenge for the NHS is to provide greater digital choice for patients, providing alternative solutions whilst providing better health and wellbeing outcomes.
What does your project aim to achieve?
The aims of the project are to:
- Reduce the number of traditional face to face follow-up appointments
- Provide virtual group clinics (forum based / healthcare managed)
- Facilitate protocol based care
- Release capacity for more chronic patients
- Improve clinical pathways and patient experience
- Provide greater digital choice for patients
The realisation of benefits will be monitored via a set of agreed KPIs during a pilot phase.
How will the project be delivered?
Initial feedback from current remote surveillance programmes (utilising My Medical Record) to support cancer patients within the Trust has been positive and uptake has been higher than expected. Current feedback indicates that patients are expecting and wanting digital solutions as a standard option.
The project will be delivered and monitored through improvement based methodology. An initial pilot phase will enable the project to review patient and clinical feedback to evaluate the use of technology from both patient and clinical perspectives.
What and how is your project going to share learning throughout?
The use of the WUPWOO Social Media App is a scalable project for not only specific cohorts of patients, but is also transferable across other specialties and services. For example the original development of WUPWOO Social Media App supported paediatric mental health patients. The WUPWOO Social Media App is available to both NHS organisations and other medical support services across the UK.
Regular monitoring and feedback will enable the local team to generate reports to provide feedback to the QExhange Community, Trust Executive Board and NHSe Transforming Outpatients National Programme (CoCH participant in tranche 2 of the Transforming Outpatients Workstream).
How you can contribute
- 1. Has any developed a similar project with a successful outcome and is willing to share documentation / information?
- 2. What measures could be used to understand success across the following themes:
- - Patient experience
- - Financial
- - Capacity
- 3. What are peoples initial thoughts regarding the project (particularly AS patients)?