Posted on: 19 June 2023

CNWL’s Community Paediatrics Service in Milton Keynes has been shortlisted for an HSJ Patient Safety Award in the categories of ‘Quality Improvement Initiative of the Year’ and ‘Improving Care for Children and Young People Initiative of the Year’.

Erika Lamb, Community Paediatrics Manager, said: “This project has involved a lot of time and effort for all the staff involved and has been tackled with real enthusiasm, always with the aim of improving the service provided to the young people and their families in Milton Keynes.

“To receive the wonderful news that we have been short-listed for an HSJ Patient Safety Award is so exciting and a real reward for the whole team, whether we win or not, for all the hard work involved.”

The CPS is a consultant-led service that provides a range of assessment and support for children registered with a Milton Keynes GP. This includes assessment for autism and autistic spectrum conditions.

The team’s ways of working were seriously disrupted by the pandemic and, at the end of 2021, waiting lists were rising and the service was not meeting its 18-week referral to treatment target.


Something had to be done. The service spoke to parents and staff, explored the relevant performance data and identified several bottlenecks at different points of the child’s journey.

The team agreed that the improvements would require a whole-system approach, making long-term improvements that allow children to move through their diagnostic pathway quickly and efficiently. A QI project involving both clinical and administrative staff was setup to test a new pathway.

As a result of this work, the team has been able to cut the time children allocated to this pathway spend from Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) testing to feedback from an average of 25 weeks to an incredible 2.5 weeks on average. 

Click here to read more about the project.