Working together with the Metro North Hospital and Health Service and the Queensland Civil & Administrative Tribunal, Francis Health led an improvement initiative focused on ensuring that hospitals in the north of Brisbane can obtain the most timely guardianship hearings possible for their patients with impaired decision making.

Patients routinely experience very long lengths of stay as they wait for Guardianship matters to be heard by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).  Much of the delay experienced by patients was attributable to the misalignment of Metro North Hospital and Health Service (MNHHS) and QCAT processes and was therefore avoidable.  Francis Health were engaged to operate an initiative that focused on reducing and removing such process delays.

Our tailored approach

Francis Health’s tailored approach ensured that a suitable solution to the challenges faced by both QCAT and MNHHS were built into the process.  

Highly refined stakeholder management skills were employed to establish a high functioning steering group which operated in a cohesive manner, regardless of organisational ties. The range of key objectives were agreed upon by the steering group and documented to successfully project manage the initiative.

Key Outcomes

The Francis Health approach to designing and implementing the guardianship process initiative delivered excellent outcomes for patients, MNHHS and QCAT.

Overall the process pilot reduced the average waiting time for patients from 66 to 35 days - a reduction of 31 days (47% reduction).  A range of human and business process benefits also generated by the Initiative include:

  • Improved patient care due to more timely discharge to more appropriate facilities
  • Streamlined processes between QCAT and MNHHS, reducing redundancies for inpatient guardianship management
  • Reduction in numbers of Interim Orders freeing up QCAT capacity for routine applications
  • Increasing confidence in the Guardianship process from Care Facilities / Service Providers which further improved the timeliness of the discharge process for some patients
  • Improved communication between all stakeholders throughout the process, increasing transparency and therefore staff confidence in the application process.

“Nobody is talking about QCAT as a performance barrier anymore.” 

Dr Shanthi Kanagarajah - Clinical Director, Geriatric Evaluation and Management Unit