Anticipating Flow

anticipating flow

In many CAMH teams referrals are handed out to staff that have “space” in their diary.

The picture in the slide is of a referral meeting where, surprisingly, staff are making eye contact with the team leader, who is trying to hand out some new referrals! The sound of diary flicking and the muttered “I’m very busy” is all that can be heard.

We think the reason for this hesitation is that staff feel busy now and so find it hard to take on more work. They feel this even though this work isn’t for now, it’s for then. We would all like to feel a little less busy now so that we could take on the work then.

However, if we plan our activity, know our capacity and how much capacity each family uses then we can plan for our capacity in the future. If you know you will have space for the new family you can be committed to the work now, as they won’t be coming for a few weeks. This is anticipating capacity. It works well when a CAMH team has structured new patient clinics (Choice etc).

It is rather similar to what happens at traffic lights. If each car waits for the car in front to move away before it starts it can take ages for the queue to go through. However, if each car moves together, trusting that there will be space on the road when they get there – anticipating capacity – the queue goes through so much quicker.