Posted on: 3 January 2024

Building on their successful work to reduce waiting lists for autistic spectrum condition assessments, the Community Paediatric Service has been able to reduce the waiting time from referral to diagnosis for children aged 11 years and older.

Data shows the team in Milton Keynes has been able to reduce the time is takes to 48 weeks (on average), down from 82 weeks before the project started.

The team has made improvements so that children can move through their diagnostic pathway more efficiently by:

  • Designing a new neurodiverse pathway, led by a psychologist and senior nurse, to complement the existing consultant led pathway for younger children.
  • Updating administration processes to reflect previous learning, allowing staff to book clinician time based on what each child needs rather than an agreed timeframe.
  • Gathering feedback from parents and children, which formed critical feedback loops for staff and informed their ongoing discussions about changes and improvement.
  • Scheduling regular team meetings, allowing them to track and review progress.

MK Community Paediatrics Team.jpg

Success in this and earlier projects has inspired the team to use quality improvement frameworks for other work too. This includes the Down syndrome pathway and emerging work with the Speech and Language team to support children across the two services.

The team were runners up at this year's HSJ Patient Safety Awards in the ‘Quality Improvement Initiative of the Year Category’.

A copy of the presentation can be downloaded here (opens PDF).