The wheelchair service at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been selected as a national case study to highlight the benefits of an improvement programme aimed at community services.

The Productive Community Services programme is a staff-led initiative which aims to reduce inefficiencies and releases more time for staff to care for patients. The NHS Institute of Innovation and Improvement was so impressed with the wheelchair service’s results from this programme that it asked the team to be a national case study to emphasise its advantages to other community services across the country.

Speaking about the programme, Jane Attrill, head of rehabilitation services, said: “The Productive Community Services programme has helped us to increase the amount of time we get to spend with each patient and has increased the number of patients our therapists are able to see each day.

“We provide wheelchair services to 15,000 service users from across south west London and Surrey and the programme helps us make sure that whether dealing with a therapist, rehabilitation engineer or team administrator, our service users are getting a consistent quality of service.”

Caroline Stanfield, wheelchair service team leader, believes the programme has improved the team’s performance and organisation. She said: “One of the benefits for the team has been an improved working environment. Everything’s much more organised, we know where everything is and we can get to things much quicker. We’ve also been sending out a questionnaire to patients every few months, and most people are very positive about the service.

“We are getting equipment out to clients quicker because our stock control is better, which also means we have been able to fund some equipment that we might have had to wait longer for in the past.”

A video about the wheelchair service’s experiences is now available to watch on the NHS Institute’s website

Notes to editors

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About St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust

  • St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest healthcare providers in the country. Its main site, St George’s Hospital in Tooting – one of the country’s principal teaching hospitals – is shared with St George’s, University of London, which trains medical students and carries out advanced medical research. As well as acute hospital services, the trust provides a wide variety of specialist and community hospital based care and a full range of community services to children, adults, older people and people with learning disabilities. These services are provided from Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, 11 health centres and clinics, schools and nurseries, patients’ homes and Wandsworth Prison.
  • St George’s Hospital, Tooting, is one of London’s four major trauma centres. In 2011/12 the emergency department at St George’s Hospital treated an average 447 patients each day, with 95.06 per cent of patients being admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.
  • St George’s Hospital is one of eight hyper acute stroke units in London. The trust’s stroke services were rated as the best in the country by the National Sentinel Audit 2010, and in the top four in 2011.
  • St George’s Hospital has one of the biggest and busiest of the eight heart attack centres in London. The heart attack centre at St George’s Hospital was rated as having the best response rate for treating heart attack patients in London in the 2012 Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit Project (MINAP).
  • The trust is an accredited centre of excellence for trauma, neurology, cardiology and cancer services, and the national centre for family HIV care and bone marrow transplantation for non-cancer diseases.