Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust transforms children’s services with holistic care, powered by Tableau


Unified data from 15 different systems
Better data quality improves morale
Improved children’s services by breaking down silos

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust is one of the UK’s leading providers of community and mental health services. The trust employs 5,500 staff who deliver care to more than 1.3 million people across six boroughs of Greater Manchester, England.

In an effort to improve processes, the Trust’s information team implemented Tableau, quickly expanding to over 600 Tableau Server users that regularly access over 1,000 operational dashboards. With Tableau, the team cut reporting times by weeks, secured funding for new services, increased collaboration between employees, and improved the overall quality of patient care being delivered throughout the Trust.

It's really changing the way we look at data and how that can influence decisions within the Trust. Tableau makes it accessible.

Enabling 600 operational managers with real-time data

The Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust collects thousands of data points every day through more than 15 different information systems. Data collection ranges from clinical patient information to internal financial costs, incident reporting, and child services activity. Internal employees, commissioners, and NHS statutory bodies all rely on this data to effectively manage business processes.

Before Tableau, the Trust was reliant on Excel and manual SQL queries for analysis, leading to long development cycles with poor data quality. And by the time a report came out, it was already outdated. As a result, many management staff simply didn’t trust the data and were ignoring the reports altogether.

In response, the Trust’s information team adopted Tableau. Instead of Excel-based monthly reports, the team distributes Tableau dashboards to all operational managers in the organization. Staff can also connect directly to the Trust’s data warehouse in Tableau, which contains data from both clinical and corporate systems.

Today, teams can view comprehensive reports containing clinical, workforce, finance, and clinical governance data on a daily basis instead of waiting for weeks in long reporting queues. “This allows the Trust to understand what the services are doing and how they are performing,” explains Ella Worsdale, Head of Information at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust.

“All of a sudden, we can present data back really quickly,” shares Ella. “Now we've got reports in Tableau that people can access every single day and it's as live as we can make it. People can get what they need now, rather than waiting until next month.”

As a result, the information team has also seen a significant improvement in data quality and collaboration. This has allowed the information team to combine key information from all the Trust’s different systems to determine what's really going on, both internally and externally.

“Now people trust the information they're getting and can make real service decisions based on it,” adds Ella. “It's really changing the way we look at data and how that can influence decisions within the Trust. Tableau makes it accessible.”

People can get the data they need now, rather than waiting until next month.

Better data quality drives long-term cultural change

Prior to Tableau, one of the key issues facing the Trust was a lack of responsibility for data amongst employees. The information team rely on data inputted into the information systems to create reports, but if there was ever a need to challenge the numbers, the individual who originally inputted it often didn’t have the answers.

“For a long time, data quality has been seen as a central problem that somebody else has to fix,” explains Ella. “People didn't understand the reporting process and weren’t engaged with it, so they took the view it was someone else's fault if it went wrong.”

The Trust’s Tableau deployment started within its Oldham location, the area with the most key performance indicator tracking, and eventually spread throughout the entire organization.

With Tableau, attitudes around data have changed almost overnight, leading to a long-term cultural shift among Trust employees.

“Tableau has improved the confidence the staff have in the data, which has, in turn, improved the confidence they have talking to commissioners and justifying the services they provide,” comments Ella. “As a result, they've started taking real responsibility for their own data collection and performance.”

“I thought a system like Tableau might make a difference, but I never realized how much of an impact it could really make, especially culturally.”

I thought a system like Tableau might make a difference, but I never realized how much of an impact it could really make, especially culturally.

Improving care: Breaking down silos between 10 types of children’s services

With over 600 employees throughout the Trust now fully engaged with Tableau, Ella and her team are able drive change in ways never previously possible, using insights uncovered in the data.

“By examining the links between key pieces of information such as where referrals are coming from and the courses of treatment being taken, we can target the areas of the Trust where we can make a real difference” says Ella.

For example, the Trust has used data from Tableau to transform its children’s services.

“We had 10 different types of children’s services all working in the same geographical area, but all in separate silos,” explains Ella. “Using Tableau, we built a report to show that some patients were being seen by as many as seven different services at the same time, without the others realizing. This one report triggered numerous actions within the Trust to provide a more coordinated level of care to these patients. As a result, not only has our patient care improved, the overall efficiency of the children’s services we provide has been greatly increased as well.”

Securing funding for services

The Trust is consistently using Tableau to support business cases and service transformations across the organisation. With more accessible data, the Trust can efficiently track demand for services and adjust funding accordingly.

For example, with Tableau, the Trust identified a need for health promotion follow ups for patients who visited the emergency department (also known as A&E). After the Trust presented the data to the commissioners with Tableau, they made the case for process changes and secured money for the initiative.

Tableau also helped Trust staff identify a growing demand on the pediatric medical service at the Oldham location. After analysing the data in Tableau, they had solid evidence that the service had both the capacity and the quality to meet demand in the area. They presented this data in Tableau, helping to secure additional funding from commissioners.

“This is helping support conversations with our commissioner to ensure funding is secured in the right areas for the right reasons at the right level to provide quality care for patients in our localities,” says Ella.

You might also be interested in...