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Explaining outcomes in major system change: a qualitative study of implementing centralised acute stroke services in two large metropolitan regions in England

Fulop, NJ; Ramsay, AI; Perry, C; Boaden, RJ; McKevitt, C; Rudd, AG; Turner, SJ; ... Morris, S; + view all (2016) Explaining outcomes in major system change: a qualitative study of implementing centralised acute stroke services in two large metropolitan regions in England. Implementation Science , 11 (1) , Article 80. 10.1186/s13012-016-0445-z. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Implementing major system change in healthcare is not well understood. This gap may be addressed by analysing change in terms of interrelated components identified in the implementation literature, including decision to change, intervention selection, implementation approaches, implementation outcomes, and intervention outcomes. METHODS: We conducted a qualitative study of two cases of major system change: the centralisation of acute stroke services in Manchester and London, which were associated with significantly different implementation outcomes (fidelity to referral pathway) and intervention outcomes (provision of evidence-based care, patient mortality). We interviewed stakeholders at national, pan-regional, and service-levels (n = 125) and analysed 653 documents. Using a framework developed for this study from the implementation science literature, we examined factors influencing implementation approaches; how these approaches interacted with the models selected to influence implementation outcomes; and their relationship to intervention outcomes. RESULTS: London and Manchester's differing implementation outcomes were influenced by the different service models selected and implementation approaches used. Fidelity to the referral pathway was higher in London, where a 'simpler', more inclusive model was used, implemented with a 'big bang' launch and 'hands-on' facilitation by stroke clinical networks. In contrast, a phased approach of a more complex pathway was used in Manchester, and the network acted more as a platform to share learning. Service development occurred more uniformly in London, where service specifications were linked to financial incentives, and achieving standards was a condition of service launch, in contrast to Manchester. 'Hands-on' network facilitation, in the form of dedicated project management support, contributed to achievement of these standards in London; such facilitation processes were less evident in Manchester. CONCLUSIONS: Using acute stroke service centralisation in London and Manchester as an example, interaction between model selected and implementation approaches significantly influenced fidelity to the model. The contrasting implementation outcomes may have affected differences in provision of evidence-based care and patient mortality. The framework used in this analysis may support planning and evaluating major system changes, but would benefit from application in different healthcare contexts.

Type: Article
Title: Explaining outcomes in major system change: a qualitative study of implementing centralised acute stroke services in two large metropolitan regions in England
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s13012-016-0445-z
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13012-016-0445-z
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 Fulop et al. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated
Keywords: Centralisation of healthcare, Evaluation, Implementation approaches, Implementation outcomes, Stroke care
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Applied Health Research
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1496892
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