Improving adult affective disorders service in Darlington
How we improved this service
This service didn't have a standard process for case allocation, in terms of who carried out the allocation or to which care coordinator the patient was allocated. This resulted in delays for patients and there was potential that patients weren't always allocated to the most appropriate care coordinator.
There was no standard method or timescales for the first face to face meeting between a patient and their care coordinator, which could cause delays. Also, some parts of the assessment were being duplicated at the first face to face appointment.
Some patients remained with the service for over a year and there were more people being referred to the team than were being discharged, putting the service under pressure.
The rapid process improvement workshop (RPIW) developed a robust and dynamic caseload management system to make sure that the pathway from treatment to discharge is recovery focused and value added.
Liaison with the access service increased to improve the assessment.
A new appointment booking system was trialled so that patients knew their appointment dates immediately.
A structured, recovery focussed programme was devised, so that each patient receives four, one hour sessions over a 4 week period, at the end of which they will have a treatment and recovery plan.
A visual control board has been developed to allow staff easy, immediate access to the number and status of their caseloads.
A new discharge for GPs was drafted and approved by a GP at the event and is now in use.