Transforming the Blackpool IAPT service

Posted in Case Studies: Transformation and Service Redesign

Client need

In June 2015 we were commissioned by NHS Blackpool CCG to support Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in improving their IAPT service, which was falling short of its targets.

The aims of the programme were:

  • To deliver a waiting list recovery plan to ensure that the service was compliant and meeting waiting time, prevalence and recovery targets
  • To help develop a robust process for the ongoing management of the service, including the implementation of a patient management IT system
  • To assess the future and current capacity of the service and identify any areas of unmet need


The programme was effectively managed and developed through an IAPT programme board. Business processes and governance structures were developed to manage the efficient delivery of the service. A suite of documents and templates were also created and left in place to support this.

We built relationships with clinical teams, national teams and external providers, while data analysis and mobilisation support were also provided. We introduced a patient tracking list and a management and escalation process so that the service ran smoothly and efficiently. We created business processes and a reporting structure to monitor performance on an ongoing basis and ensure that the service continued to improve once our involvement ended.

We supported the waiting list validation process and ensure that clinical teams were involved in redesigning patient pathways to implement a new patient management system (IAPTUS). This helped to create efficiencies within the service, as all of our aims were delivered to deadline


  • In June 2015 there were 1485 clients on the waiting list, but this had fallen to 438 by mid-March 2016, although new referrals were still being received throughout this time
  • Both waiting time targets – that 95% of clients should be seen within 18 weeks and 75% within six weeks – were achieved
  • We secured £162,000 worth of funding from NHS England’s IAPT waiting list initiative, on behalf of NHS Blackpool CCG. This money was used to reduce an identified backlog and help meet waiting time targets
  • A demand and capacity model was co-developed with NHS England’s intensive support team, enabling the IAPT team to better understand their capacity requirements and achieve their prevalence targets

Client testimonial

“They have been totally professional, organised, committed and focussed throughout the project and really turned the delivery of the service around. I would definitely support this commissioned project management again as we gained far more than having one post holder and I wanted to ensure that our thanks are passed on to them. NHSE have commented on the improvement in our results from such a poor baseline and I would credit the Blackpool Teaching Hospitals team as well with their open and transparent approach to working with the CSU on this.” Helen Lammond-Smith, Head of Commissioning at Blackpool CCG

 “The team have been great to work with and have provided excellent support to the service. We have made significant progress over the past few months in a number of areas that will provide sustainability for the future. The team approach from the CSU, the service and our own support functions has been very successful in addressing the issues we were facing.” Liz Holt, Director of Adult Community Services and Long Term Conditions at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.



Midlands and Lancashire CSU
Kingston House
438-450 High Street
West Bromwich
West Midlands
B70 9LD

Tel: 0300 404 2999

Our other locations