Maximising service capacity and capability

Re-mobilising during COVID-19 will require elective care services to reassess their capacity and capability as they adjust to new circumstances. Innovations presented here illustrate how teams are using different tools and resources to deliver care in a sustainable manner.


Using pre-clinic telephone consultations to reduce clinic waiting times
Conducting pre-clinic telephone consultations has helped a team in NHS Ayrshire and Arran continue to run their postmenopausal bleeding (PMB) clinic at full capacity throughout COVID-19. They have also reduced waiting times for ‘urgent suspected cancer’ cases. Find out more in our innovation summary.


Existing guidance for resuming elective care services

Teams face a number of challenges as they seek to re-mobilise their elective care services with COVID-19 impacting on their service capacity and capability. To help guide staff, a number of organisations have published resources highlighting key considerations and a variety of innovative solutions that can be implemented at pace. This round-up document provides a brief overview of some of the available guidance, as well as links to their ready-made tools such as safety assessment tools, patient information guides, downloadable checklists and possible case prioritisation scoring tools.

We hope this will be a useful initial reference for elective care teams. Guidance included is from the following organisations:

• The Royal College of Surgeons of England
• NHS England
• Academy of Medical Royal Colleges
• American College of Surgeons
• British Orthopaedic Association
• The Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland
• American Academy of Family Physicians
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
• Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd)

You can find further information in the round-up document of existing guidance for resuming elective care services.


Understanding your pathway: The ‘Last 10 Patients’ QI tool

Experience of NHS Lothian Dermatology pathway

Tested before the outbreak of COVID-19, NHS Lothian’s Dermatology team used the ‘Last 10 patients’ QI tool to understand patient flow within their pathway to identify their longest waits. The tool and an associated summary are available on our Tools and Resources page and you can read more about the team’s experience in this case study.

Do you have more examples you'd like us to share?

Please email us your suggestions at