Team Service Planning: Sustainably managing clinical capacity to meet demand

Team Service Planning is a multidisciplinary approach to defining, developing and delivering clinical capacity within an elective care service to contribute towards reducing waiting times. Using a 10-step process outlined in the Team Service Planning toolkit, it enables teams to match workforce capacity to service demand with the aim of reducing waiting times within the service.

The toolkit was developed by NHS Lanarkshire's Breast Service as part of the Scottish Access Collaborative (SAC). Team Service Planning enabled NHS Lanarkshire's Breast Service to reduce new referral appointment waits down to 7-10 days, repatriate Plastics Service from a neighbouring Board, and sustainably see 7,000 new referrals a year without requiring additional capacity.  

This change package has been developed in collaboration with the Scottish Access Collaborative (SAC) to support NHS boards to use quality improvement (QI) expertise to implement Team Service Planning across their service. By using this change package, teams will be able to: 

  • establish an effective service development team 
  • use learning from other teams to increase the pace of change
  • use data to inform improvement and refine changes, and 
  • use data to demonstrate that an improvement has occurred. 



Using this change package

This change package is based on the improvement journey. To start your own improvement journey using QI to implement Team Service Planning click on Stage 1: Building your service development team and work your way through each stage. All links have been highlighted in blue and others can be found in the sidebar for easy access. 

We want your feedback to help us continually refine and improve this change package. If you have learning from using this change package or feedback please get in touch by emailing us at