Millbrook Assessment Wheelchair Services

A recent report updating Kent’s Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee on the performance of its wheelchair services provided by Millbrook Healthcare has identified improvements and two areas where performance is “off trajectory”.

Commissioned by Thanet NHS CCG, on behalf of the eight CCGs across the county, Millbrook was awarded the contract for the provision of wheelchair services across Kent and Medway in April 2017.

After taking over the service, however, Millbrook identified a larger than expected caseload, including a significant backlog of adults and children that had been on the waiting list for more than 18 weeks and, in some cases, over a year.

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In June 2018, Thanet CCG notified Kent’s Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee that Millbrook was under pressure to meet targets, with additional funding granted to Millbrook by the eight Kent and Medway CCGs to improve service provision.

Since 2018, Thanet CCG and Millbrook have provided the Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee with regular updates regarding service performance.

The latest report

In the latest Kent and Medway Wheelchair Service Update report from Thanet CCG, it highlighted that there had been a steady improvement in wheelchair service performance, with waiting list times for assessment and equipment continuing to reduce, as well as average waiting times shortening.

The report also disclosed that performance was not where it was expected to be in repairs and children’s cases, stating that for “repairs within three working days and children’s cases closed within 18 weeks, performance is off trajectory.”

Repairs waiting times

According to January 2020 performance update report, there were 294 wheelchair repairs completed by Millbrook Healthcare in December 2019, of which only 43 per cent were completed within three working days.

The report highlighted that “although there has been some improvement in the percentage of repairs completed within three working days, this is still not at the level it needs to be with service users waiting on average six working days for a standard repair to be completed.”

According to Thanet CCG, Millbrook will work on a number of actions to help improve repair waiting times, including a review of stock carried to ensure fast-moving stock items are readily available.

The CCG also identified a high proportion of specialist repairs where specialist parts had to be ordered in was one factor behind the longer average waiting times.

Interestingly, Thanet CCG suggested it was “looking at the three day standard repair KPI to explore whether it would be more appropriate to look at routine and specialist repairs separately as the lead times are different.”

18-week target for children

The report revealed an increase in children referrals to the service over the last six months of 2019, with an average of increase of 27 children per month, and in December, the service had 236 open children’s cases.

80 percent of these children waited less than 18 weeks to be seen, which the CCG says is a significant improvement from 12 months before, where just over half of children waited less than 18 weeks.

“However, there is still a way to go in order to achieve the national target of 92% and a Remedial Action Plan is in place with a trajectory of meeting this target by end of January 2020,” said the report.

At the end of December 2019, there were 47 open children’s referrals over the 18 week pathway but the report emphasised that 31 outside the control of the wheelchair service, submitting that “if these exceptions are taken into account then performance increases to 93.2 per cent.”

In particular, Thanet CCG provided examples of situations preventing Millbrook from providing the service, including multiple cancelled appointments by parents or failure to attend appointments and an inability to attend appointments because of health issues.

Overall improvements

According to the NHS data for December 2019, Millbrook’s overall wheelchair service performance continued to improve as waiting list times for equipment fell.

“The overall waiting list has reduced from its peak of 3,313 in September 2018 to 1,378 open cases at the end of December 2019,” confirmed the report.

“Over the last 12 months (January 2019 to December 2019) 7,348 referrals have been concluded. Millbrook Healthcare continues to focus on those service users who have been waiting a long time and the average waiting time has halved from 31.2 weeks at the end of January 2019 to 15.88 weeks at the end of December 2019.”

To address the two key areas which are not meeting expectations, Thanet CCG and Millbrook Healthcare have verified they have put into place Remedial Action Plans and are closely monitoring the areas in order to reach the desired KPIs.

The report follows Millbrook Healthcare’s latest financial results for the year ended 30th June 2019, with the community equipment services provider reporting a £9.2m increase in turnover and a £500k increase in profit.

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https://i1.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Millbrook-Assessment-Wheelchair-Services.jpg?fit=1000%2C667&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Millbrook-Assessment-Wheelchair-Services.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Calvin BarnettNewsroomNHSSector NewsCCG,Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee,Kent and Medway,Kent County Council,Millbrook Healthcare,Thant Clinical Commissioning Group,Wheelchair ServicesA recent report updating Kent’s Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee on the performance of its wheelchair services provided by Millbrook Healthcare has identified improvements and two areas where performance is 'off trajectory'.Commissioned by Thanet NHS CCG, on behalf of the eight CCGs across the county, Millbrook was awarded the...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals