Targeting operational demand and flow pressures

Health care professionals and their organisations are facing huge operational pressures. By taking action in a number of key areas we can help address some of these front-line challenges.

Improving patient flow in the current system

Focusing on patient flow through the system we enable you to maximise the use of available capacity in the short to intermediate-term. We work with you to streamline processes to be more effective for your local population demand. Key areas to consider are:

Managing your urgent care flow - We can help you to manage and optimise your urgent care systems to improve patient flow, release capacity and ensure that no patient stays longer in an acute or community bed than their clinical condition and care programme requires.

Optimising your outpatient flow management - Managing your outpatient flow more effectively will enable you to realise savings. We can help you to identify opportunities and alternative approaches to reducing outpatient activity.

Discharge planning - Using digital solutions and effective communications we can assist your clinicians to focus on effective discharge planning to help optimise patient flow and bed utilisation.

Undertaking Patient Tracking List (PTL) and waiting list initiatives - To reduce waiting times and improve outcomes for patients you can take advantage of PTL and waiting list initiatives. SCW can share our experience to help you most effectively implement these initiatives.

Understanding your bed utilisation & modelling scenarios - Better understanding your bed base and current utilisation, and modelling future development, will enable you to make effective use of your capacity and plan effectively for future demand to inform capacity and configuration decisions. We help you to undertake bed audits and model demand and capacity to provide data to support this.

Investigating alternative ambulatory care opportunities - To reduce inpatient activity you can look at opportunities to redesign pathways and use integrated ambulatory care services to meet patient needs.


Reducing patient demand for acute treatment in the longer term

Part of the focus of the Long Term Plan, further enhanced by the pandemic, is to reduce the demand going into the acute sector by offering preventative and early interventions in the community as part of an integrated system of care.  There are several strategic steps to help you in managing community demand:

Developing robust plans for A&E - To deliver the outcomes you need for your population we can support you in designing and implementing reporting and monitoring mechanisms that will provide timely notice of deviations from the plan enabling you to take action and address patient demand in an appropriate manner.

Understanding and managing your clinical variation - We help you to understand the issues in your system by identifying clinical variation, benchmarking against similar systems and identifying potential solutions to reduce variation using evidence-based models. 

Using contractual levers, clinical priorities and incentives - We can help you to effectively manage your contracts and deliver your clinical priorities against budget by using contractual mechanisms to implement changes.

Referral management solutions - Our Care Navigation Service helps clinicians and patients make informed choices about their care and ensure system efficiency to manage capacity and referrals. 

Developing primary care - To improve patient experience, optimise capacity and resilience, and manage demand we offer a range of services that enhance integrated primary care and develop sustainable Primary Care Networks.

For more information on our support for operational pressures contact Louise, Tranmer, Director of Transformation



Supporting shared decision making - To empower patients, manage demand and improve patient flow there are several initiatives that support shared decision making.  These enable you to ensure that all the relevant participants are involved in the treatment solutions providing the most effective and efficient journey for your patients. We can support you to explore these initiatives and which would best address your needs.

Encouraging self-management and the use of virtual care - Self-management has an essential role in managing demand and enables you to support the prevention agenda. Putting patients in control of their health and care improves health outcomes for patients as well as encouraging greater use of community-based care. We can help you to support self-management through patient education, implementing patient-centred approaches to care, implementing shared care records, and using social prescribing and telehealth initiatives.