Care City, in collaboration with University College London (UCL), UCL Partners and the Bayswater Institute has been selected by the Health Foundation, an independent health care charity, to be part of its £1.5 million Efficiency Research Programme.
The Programme is supporting three new research projects exploring innovative approaches to achieving greater system efficiency and sustainability in health and social care in the UK. The WORKTECC study, led by Dr Sonya Crowe at UCL in partnership with Care City (where Sonya was formerly the Improvement Scientist in Residence), NELFT, the Bayswater Institute and UCL Partners will identify the scope for transformational efficiency gains in home-based NHS care. Focussed on community health care in Barking & Dagenham and Redbridge, it will use operational research, mathematical modelling and systems analysis to identify workforce operations used by other industries that could deliver improved efficiency, and share lessons learned across wider geographies.
John Craig, Chief Executive, Care City said “NHS staff who provide home-based care spend a lot of time travelling, and co-ordinating the care provided by different professionals and provider organisations is complex. More efficient approaches could reduce costs while improving the experience for both patients and staff.
Working with operational researchers at UCL we’ll explore whether workforce operations used by other industries can improve the efficiency of home-based NHS care, and if so, how.“
The team will first investigate what efficiency means to patients, professionals and health care commissioners, exploring agreements and differences in their perspectives. They will also build shared understanding by developing mathematical expressions linking the different aspects of efficiency. This information will help identify innovations and strategies that could improve efficiency and will include assessing the potential for some of the tasks currently performed by NHS staff to be carried out by the social care or voluntary sectors.
The Efficiency Research Programme was launched in 2014 and provides grants of up to £500,000 to support projects over three to five years. New funding is awarded every other year.
Anita Charlesworth, Director of Research and Economics at the Health Foundation said, “Research into the efficiency and sustainability of our health and social care services is of national importance, as the sector continues to work through a long period of constrained funding and uncertainty.
“These projects will provide valuable knowledge and evidence to help generate the transformative change needed, to ensure the long-term sustainability of health and social care services in the UK.”