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University College London Hospitals cuts nine weeks off wait for physiotherapy

19 February 2014 - 12:00pm

Waiting times for women’s health physiotherapy appointments have been cut from an average of 12 to three weeks at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust.


Emma Tailby, women’s health physio team lead at UCLH and women’s health physio Helen Mellersh

A trust spokesperson told Frontline that this had been achieved through the trust’s Productive outpatients programme, which was launched in 2011. It uses ‘lean’ methodology to redesign outpatient pathways.

Emma Tailby, women’s health physiotherapy team lead at UCLH, said that staff wanted to take a fresh look at the way they delivered care. They reviewed procedures and ways of working with a focus on efficiency.

‘We redesigned our referral system, reorganised our outpatient diaries and have been able to expand our service,’ Ms Tailby said.

Saving time and money

Under Productive outpatients a midwife or consultant books physiotherapy appointments for patients. Previously, a referral had to be made, triaged by a physiotherapist and sent to a call centre for an appointment to be arranged.

The spokesperson said the new approach saved time for a range of clinicians and administrative staff, and eliminated postage costs.

‘Since taking part in Productive outpatients, the women’s health physiotherapy service is better able to meet the demands of patients and staff experience has improved,’ he said.

Helen Mellersh, women’s health physiotherapist at the trust, said: ‘It was helpful to have an external mentor to look at our team and highlight areas of waste. It helped us to step back and maximise our potential.’


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