Health & Wellbeing, plus Pharma

Service/Process Improvement & 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 & busiest teaching hospitals, with a unique profile of strong local services & tertiary specialties. They provide specialist services to patients across a wide catchment & are recognised internationally for work in liver transplantation, cardiac, neurosciences & 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 & dental students, & 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 & had some major problems with communication – there was still an entrenched culture & a poor perception of the Trust both internally & 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 & competitive pressures were increasing, so large financial savings also had to be made in order for the Trust to survive.

Solution

After needs analysis & 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 & external communications. Patients, staff & other stakeholders were engaged in interviews & workshops to suggest improvements which ranged from the development of a communication strategy & action plans for clear signage, to the translation of patient information, poster campaigns, eZines & the development of the intranet & website. The aim was to use process mapping to improve the quality of care for patients, especially helping to empower them & staff with improved information, as well as to strengthen King’s reputation for innovation & clinical leadership.

Outcome

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

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