• Participatory action research into implementing open access in musculoskeletal X-ray: Management and staff perspectives

      Barlow, N.; Owens, Melissa (2018-08)
      Neighbouring Trusts have implemented open access (walk-in) services to shorten waiting times in x-ray. Despite this, staff perceptions of their effectiveness have not yet been studied. This study forms the initial baseline evaluation phase of wider participatory action research investigating the implementation of an open access service for general practitioner musculoskeletal x-ray referrals. Staff perceptions regarding effectiveness of the current service were gathered, including their opinions regarding the effectiveness of open access services. Qualitative data were obtained via three semi-structured interviews with radiology management and two (cross-site) staff focus groups over a 2 month period. Template analysis was used to interpret the data with the aid of NVIVO 11 to facilitate analysis. Template analysis uncovered several drivers for changing the current service including waiting times, external pressures, patient choice and administrative delays. ‘Flexibility’ was the key theme to arise during discussion regarding the effectiveness of the current service. Potential for improved access was highlighted as a major benefit to the implementation of open access, however ‘workload’, ‘staffing’ and ‘communication’ were all identified as potential barriers to its implementation. Although several staff members were satisfied with current service several drivers for change were identified that need to be addressed in order to truly deliver a service that fulfils the patients' needs. Results will inform the wider participatory action research that will investigate the barriers to implementing an open access service and identify whether this is indeed a suitable method of addressing the drivers for change.