Working Smarter-Improving Performance

A manual produced by the Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust (HOBtPCT) that aims to improve performance in the field of preventative medicine has received 'good practice' recognition from the Department of Health.

A manual produced by the Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust (HOBtPCT) that aims to improve performance in the field of preventative medicine has received 'good practice' recognition from the Department of Health.

Such has been the success of 'Working Smarter - Improving Performance' in terms of results that HOBtPCT is keen to help other PCTs who may have similar problems to the ones it faced.

The manual shows how HOBtPCT identifies the key issues that impact on performance in preventative medicine, notably childhood immunisation, flu vaccination and cervical screening.

It also documents how the problems, such as updating patient records, were addressed and action plans formulated and executed.

Dr Andrew Rouse, Consultant in Public Health, explained: "We wanted a manual that would help us deliver an A1 quality service.

"I believe the improvements that have been made in three areas we targeted specifically show we have succeeded."

That success is borne out by HOBtPCT, which provides services for a culturally diverse area that has higher than average levels of deprivation, being among the 10 best performing PCTs nationally in MMR immunisation uptake.

The MMR immunisation coverage increased from 82 per cent in 2004 to 94.4 per cent, just shy of the 95 per cent level recommended by the World Health Organisation.

An even more spectacular improvement was made in increasing the number of those aged 65 and over who were vaccinated against flu. The use of a call centre and mail shot to people most at risk resulted in a 31 per cent rise in coverage to 80 per cent in the same two year period.

There was also an improvement in the number of women who underwent cervical screening, the figure rising from 72 per cent in 2004 to 76 per cent in 2006.

The results have been so encouraging that HOBtPCT is willing to help other PCTs with similar problems.

Dr Jacky Chambers OBE, HOBtPCT Director of Public Health, added: "We'd be delighted to let them have copies of the manual free of charge and offer training on its use. Alternatively, our team can be sub-contracted to carry out the work."

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