South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) Improvement Programme

Following a CQC Report, South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) implemented an Improvement Programme that required delivery and leadership by a trusted partner that had relevant emergency service and NHS experience.

SCAS’s Challenge

SCAS engaged Practicus to assist it in delivering an Improvement Programme that would address a recent CQC report. Importantly, it needed to prepare for a new inspection within 12 – 18 months. This meant quick mobilisation and delivery at pace from a partner that understood the nuances of working within its unique environment.

What we did for SCAS

We deployed our Improvement Programme Director who performed an initial assessment of SCAS’s landscape. Using the issues identified by the CQC report, there were 330 issues with 900 actions that required clearing by September 2023. As a result, four workstreams were identified for the improvement programme: Governance, Patient Safety & Experience, Culture & People and Performance & Improvement.

Our programme director formed a  blended project team consisting of SCAS staff and newly recruited members that was able to change its approach as the environment evolved and its numbers increased and decreased over time. The team used Agile working methodology as well as Kanban software to manage the four workstreams. It also developed an accountability and escalation structure that promoted joint ways of working and improved Reg 17 compliance. This also supported SCAS’s strategy to deliver its Winter Plan for 2022 and helped to set expected outputs for driving strategy and planning.

Outcome for SCAS

As a result, the team successfully cleared 90% of the 900 actions within the first 90 days of the contract. This included clearing 10 of the 11 ‘must do’ actions and 16 of the 20 ‘should do’ actions raised.

The implementation of improvement measures within the Governance workstream led to more collaborative ways of working across the Executive Board and wider organisation. In addition, the creation of a short-term Planning Horizon successfully supported SCAS’s Winter Plan delivery for 2022.

The team also helped to foster greater openness within the working environment by running a series of events entitled ‘Freedom to Speak Up.’ It provided a platform for changing existing ways of working and was successful in addressing worker retention – including improved policies for the development of the workforce for the future.

Importantly, SCAS now has a range of operational procedural materials as a sustainable legacy to be implemented into SCAS’s business-as usual-operations once the project has closed.

Find out more about our work in the NHS

Find out more about South Central Ambulance Service

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