#WeAHPs - Thursday 27th July 2017 8pm (GMT Standard Time) Evidencing the quality and productivity of AHPs' care

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Hosted by WeAHPs using #WeAHPs

This chat is guest hosted by @jkfillingham

On Thursday 27th July we'll be discussing how AHPs can and should measure and evidence the demand, capacity and quality of our services. 

Strategic context

Evidencing the quality & productivity of Allied Health Professions' (AHPs) care, is crucial in the current climate of changing need and demand, and financial austerity. The NHS Five Year Forward View outlines the challenges posed to health and healthcare, and makes recommendations to address these. ‘AHPs into Action’ demonstrates that the ambitions for future care models will require a more flexible workforce, one which is responsive to changing demand. 

If the aspirations of the Five Year Forward View are to be realised it is important that a more joined up approach is taken to developing and managing staffing establishments to ensure there is sufficient capacity and appropriate skill mix, including staff with the appropriate competencies, to deliver high quality care. Measuring capacity and capability to demonstrate safe, effective, sustainable care is required to ensure that services have the right number of staff, with the right skills, organised in the right way,within an affordable budget, delivering person-centered care.

NHS Improvement together with national partners are leading the national programme to develop and deliver NHS safe staffing improvement resources which will support and enable NHS providers with making safe and sustainable staffing decisions in specific care settings. National work streams have been established to develop safe staffing improvement resources for the following care settings: mental health, learning disability, community,maternity, acute inpatients, children’s services, urgent and emergency care.

NHS Improvement are also leading on the National Operational Productivity Programme which is the development and implementation of the recommendations from the Lord Carter's review of efficiency in hospitals which show large savings can be made by the NHS. Operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals: unwarranted variations (2016) has insisted that a single reporting framework must be introduced to the NHS that pulls together the clinical quality and resource performance data and compares it to the ‘best in class’. Take a look at #WeAHPs tweet chat in August 2016 for further information and the result of the discussion here.

Ensuring services continually deliver high quality and productivity, whilst delivering on the expectation of the people we serve, is complex. And, for AHPs, there is sparse resource of tools and consistent data sets to support this process. Schoo et al (2008) carried out an extensive literature review to identify workload capacity measures and methods for profiling allied health workforce requirements.The review identified five different methods for calculating workload capacity or/and workforce requirements. However, it was noted that there was surprisingly significant variation in calculated workload outcome across the five methodological categories, and little empirical evidence to suggest which of the different outcomes are the most accurate.

Our discussion

This tweet chat will explore how currently the following is measured and evidenced, and how it should be measured and evidenced in the future:

  • Demand
  • Capacity
  • Cost
  • Impact

Agreement on a consistent approach for AHPs nationally is both paramount to build consistency of data and to enable benchmarking. 

  • How do AHPs currently measure demand?
  • How do AHPs currently measure capacity – workforce and workload?
  • How do AHPs currently measure cost? 
  • How do AHPs currently measure output/impact?
  • Should/could AHPs agree nationally a consistent data set to measure quality and productivity?
  • What tools/resources should be developed to support evidencing the quality and productivity of AHPs care?

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