Elms: transformed patient service at lower cost to practice and to NHS


We’ve just had a poster at the snappily titled BMJ International Forum on Quality and Safety in Healthcare.

BMJ Forum 2013 The Elms poster

The Elms in Liverpool is at the centre of this case study, and after a year of operating their GP Access system the performance is stunning.  The median time to contact a GP for their 8500 patients is just 15 minutes.  If they need to be seen, they are always offered the same day and 90% take this up.

Demand has drifted downwards over 10% in the year.

And what about A&E?  Achieving good performance for some time, the practice is now among the lowest users in Liverpool.

Reviewing the poster, Professor Don Berwick cited the case study as a perfect illustration of how good quality means lower costs, not by salami slicing on costs but by the will, ideas and execution of leadership in improving the service.  He quotes Deming on the need for constancy of purpose in adopting the new philosophy.

Thanks to the conference organisers for a highly stimulating event, many new connections and lots of interest from around the world in our work.

Last word to Don in his closing address:  “Systems are not enough.  Ultimately the secret of quality is love.”



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