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Bevan Exemplar Cohort 7 Projects

Realigning Secondary Care Community Occupational Therapy Services across the East Integrated Health Community with Primary Care Services

Heather McNaught and Vicky Warburton

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

Historically community occupational therapy referrals were received via post, from the social services single point of access team. Patients would be triaged and potentially wait up to fourteen weeks on the occupational therapy waiting list.

The Project:

The COVID 19 pandemic and the temporary cessation of routine community assessments allowed for a strategic change of the community occupational therapy provision to be aligned to primary care colleagues.

Project Aims and Objectives:

  • Facilitation of direct health to health referrals received electronically to a shared email inbox.
  • Existing secondary care community OT service to be aligned with primary care teams. Allowing for a physical presence of an OT within the setting, ensuring referrals are generated earlier, before patients functionally decline or crisis ensues.
  • The realignment will in allow the MDT access to OT services earlier and vice versa, meaning that crisis can be avoided and promotion of health and wellbeing needs instigated sooner.

Project Impact:

  • Waiting times have reduced by an average 9 weeks, with the longest wait being 4 weeks.
  • RTT is now on average 1.5 days an improvement on 10 days from mid 2019.
  • Time from assessment to discharge is now on average 9 weeks from a previous 17 weeks.
  • Urgent referral rates have reduced to on average 2.5 weekly from 6.5 a week.