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Healthcare utilisation supporting patient care: Room booking usage increased using sensor data

Making the best use of high quality core estate, such as CHP buildings, helps make public money go further and enables better patient care, reducing waiting lists, with patients being seen closer to home in more familiar and convenient locations.  

We continue to work with local health systems to support the move of care, including more diagnostics and other elective services, into community locations. Our buildings are cost-effective space solutions that can be adapted for different services.

Background

Since 2020, the CHP Property and Operations team in Doncaster have worked with Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSHwww.rdash.nhs.uk) teams, whose specialities use most of the sessional space at White Wings, Martinwells, and Stone Castle Health Centres, to ensure that booked sessional clinic rooms are used efficiently. 

Doncaster is a city in South Yorkshire. Its surrounding suburbs and settlements form part of the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster, with a  population of 310,000 (2018, ONS UK).

RDASH teams using bookable rooms at three CHP buildings include:

  • Cardiac
  • Continence clinic
  • Parkinson’s clinic
  • Physical Health clinic
  • Podiatry
  • Talking therapies (previously IAPT Improving Access to Psychological Therapies)
  • Tissue Viability and Lymphoedema Service (TVAL) patients

About the buildings

The Martinwells Centre, Edlington Doncaster

A two-storey, 3600m2 modern health centre is home to two GP teams, a pharmacy and a dentist alongside outpatient clinics and a minor surgery suite. Edlington Library is also based at Martinwells.
Opened in 2009.

The White Wings Centre, Askern, Doncaster

A two-storey 2100m2 building with two GP surgeries, a pharmacy, a minor surgery unit, and outpatient services.  It is next to a lake in Askern town centre.
Opened in 2009.

The Stone Castle Centre, Conisbrough, Doncaster

A two-storey 2400m2 multi-disciplinary health centre with two GP teams, a pharmacy, the district nursing team, RDaSH Children’s Eating Disorder (CEDS) team alongside outpatient clinics, and a minor surgery unit.
Opened in 2011.

All three centres have good public transport links and have car parks for patients. 

The White Wings Centre, Askern, Doncaster

The Approach

Using sensors to monitor room usage

In Jan 2020, CHP installed sensors in bookable space clinic rooms in three buildings to help us  understand if the sessional space used reflected the room bookings made via our Tenant Access Portal (TAP). We looked at four trends to determine if rooms were:

  • booked and used
  • booked but not used
  • not booked and not used
  • not booked but used

Despite the historically high demand for clinical space in these buildings, we were surprised to find that many rooms were booked and not used. 

The CHP team were also able to calculate the ‘notional’ financial value for the space that was booked but not used.

The CHP team also identified reasons why this occurred including:

  • booking 3-12 months ahead to secure a clinic room and then not cancelling when clinic plans changed.
  • high admin staff turnover, with new staff unable to cancel a booking, losing passwords or accessing relevant emails.
  • a perception that a clinic room space was ‘free’. 

The Solution

Working in partnership with RDASH teams

We ran a series of successful engagement meetings with RDASH NHS building users, showed them the data and talked through their issues with them, solving their problems. As a direct result of this, we saw huge improvements in demonstrable room utilisation.

Some service teams reached 100% booked and attended clinics and specialties freed up unwanted sessions for other NHS teams.  By the end of 2021 at Whitewings, we increased the utilisation from a low 12% (booked and used) to 80%+ with significant improvements in the other two buildings.

Regular monitoring and reporting

We started to provide quarterly reports for the RDASH and ICS teams, monitoring trends, and proactively, checking that sessions would be used, alongside continuing monitoring, and some internal ‘rivalry’ from the specialities radically improved bookable room usage.  

Continuing high usage

In 2022/23 we have maintained a low percentage of ‘booked and not used’ spaces across these three buildings while continuing to engage with our RDASH colleagues, be responsive to their needs and support their clinics.  This clearly demonstrates that utilisation does need to be continually monitored, but most importantly that the monitoring and information gathered is then used.  If this is done effectively and constructively then it can make a big difference, not only in financial efficiencies but most importantly in allowing the space to be used in the best way to allow clinical providers to deliver the right care to patients from the right place and at the right time.

Partner Organisations

The NE Property team at CHP worked collaboratively with numerous clinical teams and the Estates team at RDASH (www.rdash.nhs.uk) with the NHS South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board team responsible for the Doncaster region (www.southyorkshire.icb.nhs.uk/doncaster) including the Estates team.

Doncaster Estates Partnerships is the LIFTco (www.doncaster-lift.co.uk) for The Martinwells Centre, The Stone Castle Centre and The White Wings Centre as part of their portfolio of nine buildings across the area.

CHP’s expertise and partnership working 

How CHP helps NHS teams 

CHP  played  a vital role in the successful execution and ongoing support for this utilisation project, by providing the following expertise:

  • Project advice, support and guidance
  • Operational support working with NHS RDASH partners, clinic providers and the local ICB team.
  • Day-to-day support for building users and clinic teams

Summary

Installation and monitoring of room utilisation sensors to track usage

Increasing capacity for appointments serving the local population

Improved health and wellbeing for staff and patients with clinics in modern healthcare buildings. 

Providing health care services closer to home

Partnership working towards a shared purpose to deliver improved health outcomes

Improved NHS estate utilisation and maximising the use of the CHP LIFT estate.

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Get support from CHP

Get in touch with your CHP Regional Director and regional Property and Operations team to find out how they can support building utilisation and provide high-quality, modern, core NHS facilities for patients in their local communities.  

CHP supporting place-base care plans

CHP support ICSs with the development and iteration of their place-based care plans and infrastructure strategies, providing data insight and innovative tools to support decision-making and core asset optimisation. Our regional multi-disciplinary teams work on delivery plans to deliver shared objectives, providing skills and capability.

We work with local ICS teams and tenants to optimise building use and create new ways to better use space. By adopting an evidence-based approach, and working closely with our customers and partners, we improve individual building utilisation and optimisation levels, which provides better value for money. We support local systems to determine how they operate their buildings in practical and organisational terms, so that they may be used effectively as core community assets which continue to be needed for healthcare delivery both now and in the future.

CHP Bookable rooms

Our modern, fit for purpose buildings are great solutions for locally based care. As core assets, their use can be maximised to deliver more care and better health outcomes in local communities.

CHP have numerous bookable rooms that can be used on a sessional basis across our estate, these range from standard clinical rooms to soft consult and specialist rooms such as audiology, minor surgery, dental clinics etc.  Room bookings can be made using our online booking system (TAP), Room type and availability differ depending on the local arrangements.

Please contact your CHP Operations and Relationship Manager in the first instance for further information on bookable rooms.

Types of bookable rooms include:

  • Consulting Room – these are generic clinical rooms and generally consist of a medical couch, screens, desk and chair, cabinets, and scales/height measures.     
  • Interview Rooms/Counselling rooms – these a primarily used for 1 on 1 time with medical professionals to encourage conversations. Generally, the rooms contain at least 2 comfy chairs and a small table.
  • Treatment Rooms – these rooms have a similar set-up to consulting rooms but have additional mechanical ventilation to accommodate treatments from clinical staff
  • Minor Surgery – these suites are dedicated to minor surgery procedures with strict clinical equipment and ventilation in place. 
  • Meeting rooms – various capacities and generally include tables, chairs, and projectors.
  • Group Rooms – large and small “group” rooms that are suitable for a range of multi-purpose activities. Group rooms generally include small kitchenettes, tables, chairs
    and other equipment. 

Most CHP buildings have clinical and non-clinical rooms which can be booked on a sessional basis – either regularly e.g. for a weekly clinic, or as one-off bookings.

Bookable rooms – Community Health Partnerships

Find out more about 300+ CHP-managed LIFT buildings in our Property Directory, including AccessAble information for each building.

Our properties – Community Health Partnerships

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