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An audit of waiting times at a specialist psychotherapy service

  • Ged Garry (a1) and Graham Paley (a2)
Abstract
Aims and Method

Referrals to a specialist psychotherapy service were audited to measure the average waiting time for a first appointment and the proportion of patients waiting longer than 13 weeks. Recommendations for improving service delivery were made, an action plan implemented and the audit repeated.

Results

In 2003, an initial audit of 355 referrals was completed using data from 2002. This found a mean waiting time to first appointment of 11.5 weeks with 30% of patients waiting longer than 13 weeks. In 2004, following implementation of the action plan, a re-audit of 200 patients found that the mean waiting time from receipt of referral to first appointment had reduced to 6.7 weeks with only 2.3% waiting more than 13 weeks.

Clinical Implications

Audit can improve the efficiency of service delivery in a specialist psychotherapy service. However, this may require that psychotherapists review traditional ways of working. Also, it is important that they feel personally involved in the audit process.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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An audit of waiting times at a specialist psychotherapy service

  • Ged Garry (a1) and Graham Paley (a2)
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