Problem 2: Flexing Choice
You did match Choice demand and capacity but the referral rate has risen and you haven’t flexed the capacity to meet it.
Solution 2: Flexing the Choice capacity
Decide the number of weeks that you want all Choice appointments to be offered within. We choose six weeks in both of our teams but you may want more or less – ask your service users / carers/families/referrers/commissioners what they think.
Then, each week, have an allocated member of staff, clinical or admin, or in the team meeting, count the number of vacant Choice appointments in that time period.
You now need to know how many referrals you have accepted that week, so count these. If you have less vacant Choice appointments than the accepted number of referrals this week – you are short!
You will need to find that many extra Choice appointments in the next 6 weeks for example.
As a Choice appointment is a one-off, most staff can find one extra appointment in the next few weeks.