Western Sussex Hospitals Foundation Trust: Continuous improvement training – creating an army of problem solvers

One of the pillars of Western Sussex Hospitals Foundation Trust’s Patient First improvement programme is “capability”. There was a desire to create a workforce capable of making improvements across the organisation, and for continuous improvement to be part of daily business.

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To that end, a training programme in continuous improvement was designed by the internal Kaizen team. The course runs over two days, and is open to any member of staff – its only entrance requirement is that attendees come with a problem to solve, which relates to one of the trust’s five strategic aims.

What this means is that consultants, divisional managers, nurses, kitchen staff and so on all train alongside one another.

Over 2016 and 2017, 440 staff across the trust received training. Some of the 2017 candidates used their training to reduce the number of ITU patients who had to wait longer than 24 hours to move to an inpatient bed once declared fit to do so.

Prior to the project, an average of 18 patients were delayed every week. That number is now two to four patients a week, and those delays are clinically appropriate for special causes in acuity or individual patient need.

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