Waiting lists halved for respiratory patients in South Lakes

The South Lakes Respiratory Team at have used the Listening into Action to completely transform and improve their services. The team run a Pulmonary rehab block programme of education and exercise for people in the area living with long term respiratory conditions.

At the beginning of their journey they identified a number of issues;

• Many of their patients faced long waits to get access to the programme
• Places were not being used efficiently
• Patients attending the block clinics frequently dropped out and places couldn’t be filled
• Overall completion rates needed to be improved
• Priority was being given to patients based on geography, rather than need.

The team are always incredibly busy, and historically have had to deal with low staffing levels due to sickness, vacancy and long-term study leave. Faced with these challenges they decided to use LiA to connect all the right people together in a team, with a specific mission - to improve the availability and efficiency of their service.

After holding a team listening event they decided their first action should be to clear the backlog of patients. They rallied together and made a concerted effort to do this by holding lots of extra clinics and as a result completely eradicated the backlog. They were able to alert patients to the fact that there were long waits for their block programmes but there were places available at newly introduced quick access rolling clinics. As a result of their work the team has achieved some fantastic patient outcomes;

Waiting times have been halved and the team are now able to offer appointments within 2 weeks 
Improved clinical outcomes – there is now a higher attendance at each class, and a vast improvement in programme completion rate from 77.5% - 90%
The Redesigned service now has the capacity to offer fast track places, patients are seen earlier in illness which impacts outcomes.
The team undertook a pulse survey (which indicates how engaged and valued team members feel) at the beginning of the project and end which shows an increase from 50% to 100% in how valued in the team members feel.

The team are justifiably proud of the changes they have made for their patients;
Naomi Turner (Respiratory Physiotherapist) says “it has been a busy few months implementing the changes we have needed to make, but the fantastic results we are achieving have made the challenges all worthwhile, patients are really impressed with how quickly they are seen after referral and as a clinician it feels great to be able to offer such quick access to the programme”

Being involved in LiA has also improved the way the team works together;
Karen Donaldson (Clinical Lead) says “As well as our clinical and service improvement, which we are both proud of and hoped to achieve, LiA has changed how we work as a team; we have created a culture of improved self-care, valuing and supporting each other and as a result communication between the team is better, service development ideas have started to flow and the whole team have a sense of ownership over the services that we deliver”