Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley CCG partnered with Transforming Systems to implement SHREWD and improve their ability to monitor and adjust to the current demands placed upon its urgent care service.

The Challenge

NHS Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley CCG is one of eight CCGs in Kent and Medway. With responsibility for commissioning health services for people living in the area, it is important for the CCG to know exactly what demands are being placed upon their services at any one time, as well as how well each service is operating. The CCG needs this information to be able to accurately assess the level of resourcing needed in each particular area. This is helpful both in the present and for planning capacity in the future.  

The nature of ‘urgent care’ means that resourcing needs are varied and constantly evolving. Up-to-date details of bottlenecks or challenges in the system are vital to ensure that suitable responses can be made as soon as they are needed.  

Previously, obtaining A&E waiting times, admission rates, ambulance responses, and staffing levels was a time-consuming exercise, usually involving a number of spreadsheets, phone calls or a daily ‘round robin’ email. Any of these would invariably require a lot of manual work to turn the raw data into useable information. 

‘If I had to wait for spreadsheets to be sent over to me, or for somebody to call me with the information, I’d find that half the day was gone. It really wasn’t very efficient.’ Liam 

Liam Wiffen

The Solution 

Since the introduction of SHREWD, Liam has appreciated the ease of monitoring key indicators at a glance. Information is easily accessible and reflects the live situation. SHREWD flags up the important details, which are determined by the local user, making it easier and faster to make important decisions.

The visual aspect of SHREWD has impressed Liam and his colleagues. Key information is now displayed in easy-to-understand formats; wheels and colour codes help clearly show the demand being placed upon each provider. This simplicity is particularly useful for staff who don’t use SHREWD daily, such as on-call doctors, who can now quickly see what’s good, what's bad and what is missing. 

This ease of use does not mean lower quality data is being captured. More detail is easily examined, giving colleagues easy access to trends or specific time periods. This wouldn’t be as easy (or as quick) to do if the information was still being collected via spreadsheet, email or telephone conversations. 

Liam speaks with us at least once a week, feeding back specific suggestions he has for how SHREWD could be improved, making it even more useful for the local user. 

‘Without SHREWD, there are quite a few things in my role I wouldn't be able to do because I just wouldn't have the time. I would have to phone my trust to find out what was happening every day, which would add a lot of work for us and them. Now, I have those answers as soon as I come into the office: they're there, ready to go. With SHREWD, it's nice to come into work and actually start the day feeling productive, rather than having to wait for the information to arrive.’

Liam Wiffen