Female worker on a virtual event

Delivering a masterclass on waiting list management

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused national backlogs across patients waiting for treatment. Further, national data was released to demonstrate the waiting list backlog for mental health. In response, the south west region required an event to share best practice in the management of waiting lists. They asked SCW to deliver this.


Challenge 

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused national backlogs across patients waiting for treatment. National data was released to demonstrate the waiting list backlog for mental health, specifically children and young people (CYP), and, adult and improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT). The region required an event to share best practice and quality improvement to support in the management of waiting lists.

Approach

Following research and liaison with mental health networks, we shortlisted a variety of case studies which demonstrated best practice and quality improvement in waiting list management. A final selection was made of three case studies to demonstrate the best examples. Critically content included patient impact, data and key learnings.  

Guest speakers were secured for the event to present the theory of waiting list management (including demand and capacity modelling) and priorities and updates from the national team.  

The virtual event also included the opportunity for colleagues to connect and network, as well as space to ask questions. Recommendations from the event would be used to inform the next steps on waiting list management for the region.  

Impact

The event was attended by 41 colleagues from across the region, with prior communications promoting the event for ICS leads, commissioners, service leads/managers and performance colleagues. The recording and supplementary slide decks were circulated to colleagues post-event.  

Key takeaways 

  • Theory of demand and capacity, and how this can be applied in practice
  • Endorsed modelling tools to be used alongside local intelligence 
  • Best practice examples – whole pathway model of stepped care to manage waiting lists (HIOW) and discrete initiatives for patients on waiting lists. (Sunderland)  
  • A proposed new requirement for a 4-week wait standard for mental health (Adult, CYP, IAPT) – implementation date not yet confirmed 
  • Upcoming guidance from the national team, with a supporting tool: ‘Backlog Clearance Tool’, to be circulated once approved
  • The requirement to ensure waiting lists are validated and comparable across systems 
  • Regional discussion around approach required to waiting lists to ensure re best practice 

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