JOINED UP WORKING TO SUPPORT FAMILIES
The Allied Health Professional (AHP) service in NHS Tayside sought feedback from families about the service they received. Feedback from families in Angus demonstrated that there were areas where the service could be improved.
Families attend multiple appointments with multiple therapists and reported feeling overwhelmed and being asked too much from each individual therapist. They also thought that expectations between them and the therapists are not always clear and that AHP’s did not always listen and respect their views in terms of priorities for their child. This led families to feel lacking in confidence to self-manage the needs of their child.
In line with Getting it right for every child, the national approach to improving outcomes for children, professionals are required to use common tools and processes and work closely with children, their families and other professionals supporting them. To make services more helpful to families, Angus Early Years Collaborative (EYC) supported AHPs to test a range of ways to make services better and easier for families to navigate.
One of the ways to improve the service provided to families was to establish joint goal setting and review sessions for families when more than one AHP services is required. The team used EYC improvement methodology to test new ways of working to support joint sessions and also blur the roles between AHP services when giving advice and information to families.
This new way of working has ensured that in Tayside, 84 per cent of children and families seen between March 2015 and January 2016 experienced joint goal setting sessions within 8 weeks. Recent feedback from families demonstrates that the service has improved which in turn, is helping to build their confidence and support their children. Parents said: “I’m always included”, “Definite improvement recently”, “She makes sure I understand what to do so I feel more confident” and “All work well for me, listen to me and do the best for my child”
AHPs now report an increase in confidence when delivering universal AHP advice and information whereas previously they had been working independently within their own specialism. The next steps are to spread this approach across NHS Tayside.
Read a more detailed article about this quality improvement project, first published in Children in Scotland magazine, Issue 175, Aug/Sept 2016.
Getting it right for every child
This work is an example of how individuals and organisations are responding to the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 and the key principles of Getting it right for every child where agencies must work together to ensure children’s wellbeing.