Creating a ‘World Class Theatre’

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust is a high performing trust that is keen to build on its strong record and deliver further improvements in patient safety and quality. However, they were also facing a substantial challenge to deliver their £12.6m CIP targets.

The challenge

Unipart were asked to help identify and support an area of activity that offered the potential for improvements to the patient experience as well as the opportunity for significant financial benefits.

Theatres were identified as a suitable area, as streamlining the patient pathway to deliver patient-flow and delivering a better patient and staff experience would also result in an increase in patient volumes which could deliver the required savings.

How we helped

From our own experience in delivering organisational change in our own company we know that gaining input and engagement from all teams is vital if the benefits are to be sustained.

We therefore engaged with all stakeholders, from the scheduling teams and theatre staff, right through to the senior management team, to examine the current processes. We then supported them as they began working as a team to identify potential improvements and opportunities, which could lead to a higher quality of patient and staff experience, as well as boosting revenue.

Collectively the team identified 150 ideas and with help of our facilitation and coaching they began to take ownership of the development of these opportunities. Starting by identifying the root causes and then designing solutions, the team worked to implement their new ideas while resolving any difficult issues with the support of the Theatre and Surgery Division leadership team.

This shift in culture towards empowerment has been the key to sustaining the improvements. The operating theatre teams are skilled at challenging each other to find solutions and work together to implement them, rolling out the methodology to the other elective theatres.

The results
  • Reduction in late starts by 20% compared to May – July 2012
  • Reduction in late finishes by 27% compared in May – July 2012
  • In May, June, and July there were 41 fewer unplanned patient cancellations across all specialities