6. Driving Improvement: transforming services
AHPs are integral to delivering rehabilitation and enabling services to support the delivery of reshaping of care for older people They should therefore lead on developing and testing new models of rehabilitation, which may radically change the way AHP services are delivered. Our work to redesign MSK services using NHS 24 technology is an excellent example of this. We will also need to ensure that access to AHP services is wider, from a user perspective, and that the health and social care AHP resource is considered with regard to deployment, focused around the provision of seamless care.
In order that we maximise the opportunities for the AHP workforce we must continue to work with NHS Education for Scotland (NES). This will ensure that we are fully utilising the skills of AHP staff, working at all levels of the career framework, by providing educational support that connects practice to policy. NES have produced a wide range of tools and supporting educational resources to enable AHPs to transform their skills base, skill mix and services.
The AHP workforce provides the solution to many of the challenges being faced by the NHS workforce and services as a whole. There are many good examples where AHPs have been pivotal to service redesign and the achievement of existing targets. It is now important to develop the workforce at all levels to underpin sustainable and affordable services including strengthening advanced and consultant level practice and, where appropriate, introduce assistant and assistant practitioner roles to enhance the skill mix and ensure best use of AHP resources and expertise.
AHPs now need to strengthen their contribution to quality improvement ; understanding how whole systems work, from a service user perspective, and testing and measuring improvements. AHPs must embrace the opportunity to learn and use skills and techniques around improvement science to identify areas for greater efficiencies to ensure high quality, effective services are delivered. This will include a reduction in unnecessary variation, improved services and a consistent approach to waiting times.
Our question is - How do we grow leaders and practitioners with improvement skills to drive service transformation? What would help grow our use of technology?
- AHP leaders of health and social care teams will drive improvement locally, strengthening the connection between quality improvement for service users and the collection of data to demonstrate outcomes and service impact.
- AHP waiting times for NHS services will be implemented in accordance with the New Ways guidance (18 weeks from referral to intervention), inclusive of all professions and specialities, by 2013.
- AHP directors will work with the Quality Hub to develop a cadre of AHP leaders as improvement champions.
- AHP directors will embed NES educational developments such as Flying Start NHS™, Effective Practitioner and the Senior AHP Framework into career development plans for all grades of staff.
- AHP directors will work collaboratively with colleagues in social care to increase the utilisation of technology such as tele-care and tele-rehabilitation by 40% as an integral part of rehabilitation services by 2014.
- AHP directors will work with Directors of Diagnostic Services to drive the roll-out of radiographers undertaking 80% of plain film reporting across NHSScotland by 2013.
- AHP directors will work with strategic planners and clinical leaders to explore the sustainable, integrated development of podiatric surgery within orthopaedic services by 2014.
- Self-referral has been successfully evaluated and introduced in a range of AHP services across Scotland: and is welcomed by people who use services. By 2014, self-referral should be the primary access route into AHP services.
Email: Susan Malcolm