South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership (SLH&SCP) has set out a plan of action following the international Breaking the Rules for Better Care campaign.
The key aim of the initiative was to generate ideas from staff and people who use the partnership’s services in order to improve health and care.
Marianne Hayward, Head of Health, (SLH&SCP) who led the campaign week in March, explained: “We asked staff and partners across SLH&SCP and, crucially, people who use health and social care, to help us identify and share the well-intentioned rules, habits, policies and procedures that get in the way of delivering the very best care possible.
“The response was significant with many positive suggestions about how we can make improvements throughout our services.”
The most frequent suggestions centred on the following areas:
• Reducing paperwork and improving IT systems
• Flexible services and increasing ease of access
• Reducing delays in hospital discharges
• More integrated working between health and social care teams
• Increasing time for staff to spend with patients
• Better communication between teams
Ms Hayward added: “On the basis of the feedback we’re taking action around all of these key areas.
“For example, responses that related to hospitals have been shared with colleagues in the hospital setting. This includes looking at waiting times between arriving in hospital and being treated, as well as checking-in processes in A&E. The hospital management team are looking at these areas and will report back on progress made.
“There are also two pilot initiatives being implemented in South Lanarkshire to enhance person centred care and establish governance around a single point of contact. In essence, the aim is to reduce the number of contacts people have with professionals and increase the access to services they need more quickly. It’s about continuing to improve the way we provide timely, efficient care and support.”
As well as immediate actions, Ms Hayward explained the responses are also informing medium and longer term priorities – many of which are already in hand.
“The partnership is committed to reducing process and paperwork to allow health and social care staff focus on caring for people. For example, timely discharge of people from hospital to their home or a homely setting is a priority for every person who is admitted.
“In the next six months, the partnership is reviewing processes at a locality level in South Lanarkshire to further improve communications between all partners and service teams”
SLH&SCP’s vision is Working together to improve health and wellbeing in the community – with the community.
Val de Souza, Director of Health and Social Care for SLH&SCP said: “This campaign has been very interesting, it has given staff and our customers a voice.
“Some of the feedback was not at all surprising and will reaffirm the work we are doing as a partnership. This includes, for example, the development of integrated team in our localities.
“Some feedback reinforces system-wide frustrations which we will try and address. Some feedback was new to us - and as a listening organisation these new themes will form the basis of new areas of focus.
“The work underway exemplifies our continuous commitment to improvement – and crucially, enabling our staff, partners and people who use our services to have a say in that process.”