Health and Wellbeing, plus Pharma

Service/Process Improvement and Transformation Program,
King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (UK)

SG - Clients - Guy's & St.Thomas's NHS Foundation Trust

Background

King's is one of Europe's largest and busiest teaching hospitals, with a unique profile of strong local services and tertiary specialties. They provide specialist services to patients across a wide catchment and are recognised internationally for work in liver transplantation, cardiac, neurosciences and haemato-oncology services, plus a full range of local services for over 700,000 people in SE London. King's also plays a key role in educating medical, nursing and dental students, and has actively developed partnerships with other health organisations.

Issue

Whilst King’s has always had a strong clinical reputation, in 2000 it was undergoing a major transformation program and had some major problems with communication – there was still an entrenched culture and a poor perception of the Trust both internally and externally. The organisation still had some very old systems that lacked customer/patient focus, so there was a big need for quality improvement. At the time the UK Government were also conducting a service review and competitive pressures were increasing, so large financial savings also had to be made in order for the Trust to survive.

Solution

After needs analysis and project design, an Executive Steering Group was formed to lead a major reengineering/process improvement project using lean methodology, aimed at streamlining services. A Corporate Communications Team was also formed with the aim of transforming both internal and external communications. Patients, staff and other stakeholders were engaged in interviews and workshops to suggest improvements which ranged from the development of a communication strategy and action plans for clear signage, to the translation of patient information, poster campaigns, eZines and the development of the intranet and website. The aim was to use process mapping to improve the quality of care for patients, especially helping to empower them and staff with improved information, as well as to strengthen King’s reputation for innovation and clinical leadership.

Outcome

As a health provider and a major employer, King’s re-engaged with its surrounding area and helped to reduce social and health inequalities – winning major communication and quality awards along the way.
Staff became more involved with continuously improving both services and communication, resulting in higher motivation and lower staff turnover. We had a particular focus on teams, working across boundaries and the involvement of clinical staff in all aspects of Trust management, ensuring positive cultural change and that King’s became a designated Centre for Innovation and Teaching in Elective Care.

 

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