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NHS Team increase system capacity tenfold


In 2003 the Forth Valley Community Alcohol and Drugs Unit, CADS, were coming under extreme pressure to sort out their growing wait times. From an external point of view things weren’t happening fast enough. But from the inside it was quite the opposite. A new Senior Medical Officer had been appointed with completely different practices, bringing great change to staff and patients. The new management team were struggling with the pace of change. The General Manager however, under pressure from the CEO, needed to act quickly.

What we did:

Our approach was a challenging one. Asked initially to facilitate the team collectively, we set forth a different approach which was to interview, feedback and coach each of the management team individually so they could understand what of their own behaviours were contributing to the situation. Then the team were coached on how best to operate as a leadership team, covering their collective vision, roles and support for one another. Thereafter, the wait time problem became easy to work through, this done again with a team coaching/facilitative approach.


This was a high impact piece of work that resulted in a more holistic strategy for the CADS unit and its sister organisations. Key differences were to work differently with different types of patients, to outsource some of the CADS work to other organisations, plus most significantly, to work hand in hand with GPs. The impact would be a tenfold increase in the system's capacity. The governing bodies, once dissatisfied with performance, were now involved in the project and the management team started performing as one unit. The General Manager and CEO consider this ‘a strong piece of work’.

"The management team of CADS is extremely pleased with the outcome of this work. This was a time of considerable and significant change within the service and Lifetimeswork facilitated a culture of cohesion and collective vision within the team which allowed the clinical changes to be designed, driven and managed in a way which ensured an inclusive process between CADS and partner organisations in Forth Valley.

CADS has continued to develop and build on the work undertaken at that time and the management team is grateful to Lifetimes work for the support and coaching provided."

Colin Bennie
CADS Manager

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