Two leading trusts are working lean nationally

Posted on Wed, 01/02/2017

Two of the leading health organisations in the country have signed up to a new joint venture and are working together to help the NHS become more efficient and provide better patient care nationally.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust and Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust signed up to creating a new organisation called ‘North East Transformation Systems Ltd (NETS Ltd), on 1 February.

NETS Ltd will help the NHS become more efficient and provide better patient care by adopting management techniques and improvement principles made famous by car manufacturing.

The formal agreement follows many years of working together as part of the North East Coalition of Trusts who have developed continuous improvement processes, tools and techniques to implement lean methodologies to help transform the way in which organisations can improve and deliver health care to patients.

Based on the 14 principles of The Toyota Way of Lean production, and in collaboration with the Virginia Mason Institute based in Seattle USA, the tools, techniques and training programmes have been developed specifically for the healthcare sector and in particular the NHS and social care arena.

Over the past eight years both Trusts have worked across the North East health and social care sector to implement the systems.  The strength and value of the Lean tools is seen through engaging staff at all levels within an organisation, giving them the support and time to identify problems associated with patient care delivery, analyse the processes involved and through multi-disciplinary focused workshop events allow them to develop, test and implement solutions to solve problems.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, as part of the partnership, has over the past eight years implemented their Quality Improvement System (QIS) lean methodology techniques throughout the Trust and has seen a remarkable change in culture where all staff talk and deliver the language of lean. They have also delivered lean methodology training and whole systems cultural change to 16 Trusts and organisations across the country.

Colin Martin, chief executive, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust said “This is an excellent opportunity for both Trusts to work together and further expand the Lean methodology we use in our everyday work. With our experience and skills we can build and deliver the training needs of our future clients within the NHS and social care to ensure more efficient and better patient care.”

Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust has hosted the NETS team for the past five years and has seen the development of the transformation system, supported large numbers of training and networking events and the development of the NETS LeanApp for iPads.

Ian Renwick, chief executive at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust said: “This is an exciting opportunity to embed the very latest management thinking across the NHS and beyond. The new joint venture will help organisations deploy the continuous improvement approaches inspired by industry and ultimately improve the overall patient experience. The project will maintain close ties to the NHS Improvement agenda but will also have the flexibility to look beyond our usual boundaries.”

You can find out more about NETS and what it provides on a dedicated website here.

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