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HSJ silver winner. Partnership awards. Best healthcare analytics project for the NHS.

The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance has received national recognition for a collaboration which has reduced waiting times in a day unit for cancer patients.

In partnership with Airedale NHS Foundation Trust and Changeology, the Cancer Alliance won silver for Best Healthcare Analytics Project in the Health Service Journal Partnership Awards.

The innovative project, funded by the Cancer Alliance, was recognised for using analytics for effective patient scheduling and resource planning.

The focus of the initiative was the Haematology and Oncology Day Unit at Airedale Hospital where long wait times and overrunning appointments were affecting patient experience, as well as causing staff fatigue and additional costs.

Data analysis and process mapping by specialist consultants Changeology identified how patient appointments were being scheduled was the root cause of many of the issues.

Project objectives were set to:

  • Utilise the available data to drive appointments
  • Develop a bespoke method to schedule patients
  • Improve patients’ and staff experience and minimise additional cost

After four months working ‘hands-on’ on the unit, speaking to staff and examining data and analytics, the consultants created easy to use tools for the teams to use daily without technical knowledge.

It resulted in an increased number of patients being seen, without compromising care or staff hours. Wait times reduced by more than 50%, overtime hours reduced by 75%, whilst unit running costs decreased by £15,000 per month.

Jason Pawluk, Programme Director for the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance, said: “This was an incredibly important piece of work, and it is terrific that it has been recognised in this way.

“We do our best work when we create new opportunities for collaboration and innovation and this project will not only benefit cancer patients but also the staff who are dedicated and committed to providing a terrific service.”

Leanne Cooper, Chief Operating Officer at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust said:  “Changeology have provided us with a range of tools and techniques for HODU and have worked really well with the staff to develop their skills and competencies. The work has delivered tangible benefits for patients and Changeology have integrated brilliantly with our teams; the staff love working with them.”