Pain Management Consultant
In September 2020, the Trust approached Agile to ask for assistance with a Pain Management Insourcing Project. A combination of staffing issues, as well as the pandemic, meant the team had a large backlog of patients - many of which were vulnerable patients who had been waiting 18 months to 2 years since their GP referred them for their initial outpatient appointment.
The Trust wanted to use their spare capacity during the week and on weekends – with the Trust booking patients,
providing HCA/nursing staff, reception, and administration staff and Agile providing the Consultants. The substantive team wanted the Agile team to own the whole cohort of patients – discharging or treating the patients themselves and not adding to the substantive team’s follow-up list.
It was quite unusual to find insourcing in this field and they challenged Agile to demonstrate the calibre of candidate they could provide. Having a specialist partner in anaesthetics, they were impressed with Agile’s pool of candidates, and the project was implemented very quickly. The service has been provided predominantly at Queen’s Hospital in Romford – ensuring patients could be seen in their local hospital – with patients pleased to get an appointment.
Implementation of the project took two weeks - with a team of four NHS Consultants on the Specialist Register put in place (including relevant training/induction) and seeing patients. Agile worked closely with the Trust Patient Pathway Manager to book the Consultants into the rota and book relevant support, files etc. The team has undertaken first outpatient appointments, follow-ups, and procedures – using the Trust dictation service for letters and approving them within the allotted time to hit KPIs.
In phase one of the contract, patients were seen face-to-face in clinic. In phase two (due to Covid-19) it was necessary to change to telephone appointments and theatre was suspended. In phase three, face-to-face clinics resumed, and a limited amount of theatre space was allocated for the team to undertake procedures.
- Team has seen 1,309 patients in clinic and treated 235 patients in theatre.
- On-call support, 7 days a week to deal with any issues.
- Agile allocated a Specialist Clinical Advisor (an
experienced Pain Management Consultant), who oversaw the design of the service, was the link for the MDT, and was available to support the team clinically throughout the contract.
- Agile had weekly calls with the Trust and monthly review meetings to monitor KPIs and ensure the service was operating to their exact specification, and with the best service being provided to patients.
The difference between Agile and other insourcing companies I have dealt with was the contact between Agile and the Trust team. This allowed issues or queries to be resolved quickly and the service ran a lot smoother than I have experienced previously with other Insourcing companies. I have not had this level of service in other insourcing projects.
William Hodsall - Anaesthetics Specialty Manager