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Launching the Accelerator Programme 

The Coventry and Warwickshire Integrated Care System will be accelerating the pace of their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic after being selected to be part of the NHS “Accelerator Systems Programme”. Through the programme we will see a £10 million investment and additional support to help us to reduce the waiting times for all our planned operations and procedures and support people to be seen, treated and recover much more quickly than we would have been able to before. 

Thanks to the agile way in which we responded to the Covid-19 pandemic, far more people were able to access routine tests and treatment during the second wave of the pandemic than the first, despite caring for more Covid-positive patients. The impact on our services has still been severe and although we have been working incredibly hard to get things back and running, we still have a significant backlog of patients who are waiting for their treatment. 

As an “elective accelerator site” we will bring hospitals, GPs and others together across Coventry and Warwickshire to design new and improved ways of working that have the potential to enable us treat more patients than in the same months in 2019, and then put them into practice quickly and assess how well they work for patients. 

Much more than just “doing more”

This is about a transformation of how we work across the system and finding new ways to support our staff. We will look at ways to improve the whole way people access care, from outpatients appointments and diagnostic tests to how and where we deliver our planned operations and procedures and manage our waiting lists, right through to how we get people home again and make sure that they don’t stay in hospital for longer than they need to. We will focus initially on five of our largest specialities then apply what we have learnt to other areas, leading to sustainable changes which will help us to transform our services and improve the health and wellbeing of our population.

This is  a system wide programme which is not only targeted at hospitals, but new ways of delivering care, for example supporting the development of new ways of diagnosing and treating conditions in local communities which would previously have been treated on hospital sites, keeping care as close to home for people as possible.

The programme is a great chance for the Coventry and Warwickshire Integrated Care System to build on the work and innovation already happening to transform our services and provide the best possible care for our patients and communities.

28th May 2021:

The Accelerator programme has lived up to its name, hitting the ground running with the delivery of a high volume of procedures in the first two weeks of the programme as well as mobilising the workstreams to transform how we deliver care going forward. 

This programme runs across the whole of the Coventry and Warwickshire health and care system and is focused on rapidly trialling innovations and interventions to boost activity, which can then be scaled and adopted by others.

Some of the highlights of the past two weeks include:

Work happening at our acute trusts

  • Validating all waiting lists and clinically prioritising patients so patients with greatest need are seen and treated first. This process has been completed for current patients but will continue to happen for new patients 
  • Maximising all resources to reduce any waste, bench marking and improving ways of working
  • Putting on additional lists at the weekends to treat as many additional patients as possible to reduce waiting lists. 115 cataract operations have been done over the last two weeks.

Insourcing additional support

We know that staff have been working unbelievably hard over the past year to meet the challenges of Covid-19 and subsequently to restore services. The Accelerator programme has given us the opportunity to fund insourcing, so different external teams with specialist skills can come in to focus on and treat specific groups of patients and allow our staff to have some down time.

Over the next weeks, the initial areas which will be supported by insourcing are cataract procedures in Coventry, urology work at South Warwickshire Foundation Trust and oral surgery at George Elliot Hospital.

Outsourcing support from the Independent Sector

We have continued to work well with the Independent Sector to support patients to be treated more quickly. Long waiting orthopaedic patients are being treated at the Nuffield and the BMI in addition to some surgical and gynaecology cases. Diagnostic cancer tests and scans are being carried out on both IS sites and we will be doing additional endoscopy through the accelerator programme to further boost our capacity.

Designing new ways of working

New workstreams are being set up to help transform the way we deliver care in the future. These are focusing on improving patient care, ensuring the patient is being looked after in the right place with the correct support and what digital technology can be used to support innovative ways of treating patients. We’ll be covering these in more depth in future updates.

We’ll continue to update you on the activities happening, but if you have any questions in the meantime, please email us.

4th June 2021:

The Accelerator programme, running across Coventry and Warwickshire, is in place to trial innovations and interventions to boost activity across all of our Trusts. Staff across the system have been doing great work to support the programme and we’ve already delivered 300 additional procedures since we started.

One thing we’re focusing on is how we can help make sure patients actually make it to their appointments and reduce the “Did Not Attend” (DNA) rate across the area. Our DNA rate is 9% across the system and just reducing it by a single percent will make a big difference to how many procedures we can do.

We’re going to be launching a social media campaign to help patients know what to do if they suddenly can’t make an appointment and to encourage them to cancel in advance so that their slot can be used by someone else. We’re exploring other ways of communicating with patients about the importance of attending appointments.