Our success in meeting our own challenges has shaped our unique approach to consultancy
To meet and exceed the 18 week referral target , we helped to engage staff and deliver lean patient pathways in local health communities.
The NHS Improvement Plan published in June 2004 introduced the Government’s ambition that by December 2008 no one would wait longer than 18 weeks from GP referral to hospital treatment. To meet the target, South Central SHA established a delivery programme called Transforming Care. The programme used Lean thinking to redesign and deliver sustainable 18-week patient pathways.
NHS South Central commissioned Unipart Expert Practices and Atos Consulting to work in partnership with nine local health communities on 15 projects to deliver the Transforming Care programme in a wide range of pathways across the spectrum of care.
With a clear focus on the patient and getting things right first time, the team began by engaging staff, from all areas and at all levels across the projects, to help identify issues affecting the various patient pathways. Using a Lean approach, our expert practitioners and Atos consultants then worked with staff to define and then implement solutions that would improve quality and productivity across all 15 projects.
Standardised processes were developed that could flex to demand and were sustainable. In the process the teams created extra capacity and reduced costs, crucially reducing waiting times and significantly improving the patient experience.
Our practitioners also focused on building staff capability to sustain and continuously improve the new Lean ways of working that had been introduced.
As a result of our joint work significant benefits have been realised in many areas and across numerous pathways, including:
Our approach contributed towards helping PCTs and Trusts achieve challenging targets and drive down cost. But, more importantly, it left employees with the skills, tools and confidence to sustain and further develop the processes that they themselves have helped redesign.