Lean Thinking Bexley CAMHS praised

Highpoint House for news article

The outstanding work of Bexley CAMHS has been highlighted in a new guide published jointly by the Department of Health and the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Called ‘Improving access to child and adolescent mental health services’ the Bexley team was praised for the way it improved access for service users by “a more consistent and streamlined patient journey.”

This has been achieved by introducing - under the banner of Lean Thinking:

  • pre-assessment telephone consultations with service users
  • tracking to manage the flow of patients through the service
  • routine use of outcome measures including patient reported outcome measures
  • a detailed operational policy with timelines
  • standardised letters and clinical records templates
  • meetings focused on key tasks
  • increased administrative support to save clinical and management time.

Lean Thinking is a service improvement approach to maximising value adding activities, improving flow and eliminating waste. It was developed by Toyota but has been applied in other sectors. In health and social care, Lean Thinking is about identifying what adds value for those using services, and getting the right people or things to the right place, at the right time, in the right quantities, while minimising waste and being flexible and open to change.

Bexley’s system is now more efficient. In particular it boasts: greater capacity for assessments and new processes; faster responses to referrals and lower waiting times from referral to completed core assessment; better quality service, for example through use of outcome measures; better clinical recording and data quality and better information sharing with service users; improved use of resources and team functioning. For further information contact beverley.mack@oxleas.nhs.uk

To view the guide please click here

Published on 7th August 2009