06 July 2009

Community Therapy Service Rehabilitation Assistants

Community Therapy Service Rehabilitation Assistants (Community Therapy Service, Independent Living centre, SCH )

From Wirral PCT "Simply the best" awards programme - This is an award for individuals or groups of staff within the PCT or from independent contractor organisations (GP, dental, optometry practice or community pharmacy). This was the 2008 winner.

Why should the nominee receive an award?


This was a simple idea, using readily available resources, to:-

1) Enhance and improve the provision of equipment to patients in 1 single visit

2) Help Community Equipment store(CES) to meet their delivery targets

3) Reduce the number of contacts for the Community Therapy Service (CTS) thus improving cost efficiency.

4) Set up satellite store in CTS so that all staff could take smaller pieces of equipment out for assessment and leave so patients are safely provided with equipment on same day

In the last 12 months, how has the nominee used innovation to successfully change practice or improve results?

A CTS rehab assistant noticed the availability of delivery vans on certain afternoons. A pilot was proposed. Competency of proposed staff was assured. An audit was undertaken to determine the provision of a satellite store.

Processes for assessment, ordering and delivery of equipment were reviewed and simplified for both CTS and CES. CTS are heavy users of CES so this has had a positive knock on effect in that the need for individual delivery of equipment by CES has been reduced.

How was the need for innovation identified?

Pressure to provide timely assessment and provision of equipment prior to patient admission to the Independent Treatment Centre. The majority of these patients were considerably younger than the usual cohort and so were still working. Access during normal working hours was difficult. An approach was made to CES to see if it was possible for CTS staff to use the vans. Generally, return visits to patients and also to CES were driving up mileage costs and were expensive in terms of clinical time spent driving.

In what way have actions or practice been innovative?

Improved and enhanced service to patients – extended hours and same day delivery. Extended roles for rehab assistants. Maximised use of available resources. Reduced costs in terms of clinical resource and mileage.

In what way has this innovation made a difference, and to whom?

To patients:-

  • They have only been inconvenienced by one visit
  • It has extended service provision beyond office hours.
  • Same day delivery
  • Timely provision of equipment prior to hospital admission which offers reassurance to patients.

To provider services :-

  • Improved delivery times for CES. Fewer deliveries direct to patients to further free up resources
  • CTS although 2 staff have attended it has been 1 visit in all,
  • Overall mileage has been reduced,
  • Reduced need for follow up visits.
  • Satellite store – Equipment is instantly available and so all CTS staff can take smaller pieces with them for assessment, delivering same day provision. Supports further service development e.g. Emergency Response

Thanks to Wirral PCT for this example - of a scheme and the idea.

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