Second ‘Remobilising elective care’ Access learning system webinar

Written by Camilla Somers, Knowledge and Information Skills Specialist
13 October 2020

The second webinar of the Access Learning system focused on addressing two key challenges raised in discussions and feedback gathered from our first webinar held in early September. Participants had asked how other services had been engaging with patients during COVID-19 and how to manage the physical environment to accommodate face-to-face appointments. The ihub Person-Centred Health and Care programme and NHS Grampian joined the webinar to share their knowledge and top tips from their own experiences.

Agenda for 29 September webinar

Service user engagement: tips and examples

Improvement advisor Diane Graham and Senior Service Designer Alexandra Clarke, from the Person-Centred Health and Care programme, presented ideas for service user engagement. This was followed by Laura Kluzniak, Acute Transformation Programme Manager from NHS Grampian, who gave a spotlight talk on patient engagement work in NHS Grampian.

In their presentation, Diane and Alexandra highlighted the importance of involving service users, key methods to be considered, and ways of sharing insights gained with both colleagues and patients. Discussion showed that whilst engagement among staff had been very evident during COVID-19, it had been more challenging with patients. One top tip from the presentation was to collaborate with other teams and look at existing data. Diane suggested that teams should start by looking at readily available resources such as Care Opinion when unable to engage with patients face to face.

Examples of unsolicited feedback sources, such as complaints records, social media, market research and surveys

Find more information on what to prioritise when engaging with service users, and how methods such as journey maps and the Care Experience Improvement Model (pictured) can help capture and produce visual representations of what patients feel and why they engage (or disengage) with a service in the presentation.

Image showing the Care Experience Improvement Model

In her spotlight talk, Laura Kluzniak, spoke about work done to understand patient experiences of the Urgent Suspected Cancer (USC) pathway. By using ‘NHS Near me’, they were able to virtually connect with patients. Laura emphasised that the interviews had been really insightful, highlighting key themes and actions that can be taken forward to improve the patient care experience, as well as positive aspects that should be continued.

The experience of the NHS Grampian dermatology team, along with the insights presented by Diane and Alexandra from the ihub Person-Centred Health and Care programme, will be incorporated into an upcoming Access QI patient engagement guide, due to be released later this month.

Managing the physical environment

Lots of data-driven decision making [during COVID-19]." Cathy Young, Head of Transformation for Acute, NHS Grampian

The second spotlight talk was by Cathy Young, Head of Transformation for Acute from NHS Grampian, who discussed the work undertaken at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary with the British Army to create a bed base and escalation plan for COVID-19. Cathy talked through the challenges the team faced as services sought to assess capacity and develop an escalation plan to meet predicted demand. This included establishing new processes, such as segregated pathways, a blood testing facility out-with the main hospital, and a concierge service for patients coming to hospital for elective procedures. She also presented the process for critical decision-making during COVID-19 that had been developed. She stressed that key to implementing new systems quickly was gaining general agreement that inpatient facilities needed to be planned in a completely new way to allow for the activation of contingency measures.

[We needed] an agile, adaptive system." Cathy Young, Head of Transformation for Acute, NHS Grampian

What next?

Thomas Monaghan, National Programme Director, brought the session to a close presenting an new resource currently under development, a driver diagram on managing the physical environment based on the impact stories and innovations the team have identified from the system. This was well received and will be shared as a draft for initial testing in the coming weeks.

The next webinar will explore ways to maximise service capacity and capability in elective care. Register to join us as we continue to share innovations, tools and resources to help services learn from each other. If you would like to learn more about the Access learning system and the Access QI programme as a whole, we regularly update our website and will be releasing new innovations, resources and details of upcoming events, so stay in touch!

Should you have any queries about Access QI please contact us at