Blog: Service Improvement Team Update

21 November 2018

It’s been a busy month in the Service Improvement Team with Lauren now on Maternity Leave and Kyle spending some annual leave to get married and go off on honeymoon. Despite having less people on the ground loads of great work has been done to keep improving services around the Trust. 

Some of the highlights include CWP’s first every Q Network event and Tesni’s trip to learn more about QI at Nissan. We’ve also got some exciting training opportunities coming up in the near future that will allow more colleagues than ever to get involved in Quality Improvement. You can read more about all of this below, and as ever if you have any questions drop us a line on

CWP's Q Network 

The CWP Q Network is a vibrant new community for CWP colleagues to find out more about QI projects around the Trust and to share best practice in an open, honest, and fun environment. 

The first of these exciting events took place at the Stein Centre and was a great success. We always like to do things a little bit differently in the SI Team so we used an ‘unconference’ approach to the session that allowed Q Members to have their say on a wide number of topics and to start to shape the Network. 

Going forward, these events will be held on a quarterly basis with the next event planned for 17th December at Sycamore House. If you’re interested and have completed your Introduction to Improvement training then get in touch and we’d love to see you there.

Tesni's trip to Nissan - by Tesni Jones, Service Improvement Officer

Recently I was lucky enough to win a raffle (I never normally win anything!) to attend a two day Q visit to Tees, Esk and Wear NHS Trust, a mental health Trust and NISSAN Sunderland plant.

The trip was to focus on how we as an NHS Trust could apply learning from another industry. It was a great opportunity to see live the principles of lean being implemented in a factory setting where the methods for lean originally came from. The first day was to Tees, Esk and Wear to hear about their 10 year improvement journey and their organisational approach to Quality Improvement.  It was centred on a strong coaching culture, with intensive Quality improvement training and they had embedded the use of the Japanese and lean words so all staff commonly used phrases such as Kaizen, stop the line, Gemba walks, Poke Yoke.

I learned about their use of boards for visual lean management at every level of the organisation to support real time data flow from each Team to Executives and back on a weekly basis. This supported their use of daily huddles and provided structure for daily lean management, their philosophy being “let’s fix it in the moment.”

The second day was at the Nissan Sunderland plant and they act as a provider of production for Nissan who commission the car builds. They are in a very competitive environment with plants around the world and have to constantly develop and improve and every member of staff is trained to support the constant improvement and implementation of lean to remove any waste within the production process. One staff member said that “after the first 20 years it was second nature.”

If they make efficiencies to remove their job they are guaranteed another or a job on the Kaisan (improvement) Team. The level of co-ordination and planning to the finite detail was amazing, each member of staff on the assembly line had 60 seconds to complete their task and if their task only took 40 another task would be allocated for the remaining 20.

The aspect which I found prominent in Nissan which I hope to adopt into my way of working was the level of structure that was in place while simultaneously being able to adapt to variation as required. The different model cars are not batch made it is a continuous process to build different cars and to different specifications along the same production line.

I think the approach of reducing non-value adding variation and increasing standardisation of processes to allow for more value adding (or person centred) variation could be utilised well within healthcare. For example, standardising an effective way which care plans are created and managed to allow them to be used effectively to support person centred care. 

It was organised by the Q community which is a national network hosted by the Health Foundation and its purpose is to connect people with an interest in Quality improvement from all areas and different organisations within the country. If you have an interest in QI I would recommend applying to become a Q member the events are inspiring, motivating and most importantly you always come away with new learning to share within your team and the Trust. 

To read more, you can visit 

What's coming up?

We have now confirmed dates for all of our Introduction to Improvement (i2i) courses for 2019. Our January cohort is already fully booked but CWP staff can get in touch to be put on the waiting list and get in early for our next cohort.

Click the links below for: 

We will also be providing a monthly Improvement Readiness session for those who want to dip their toes in the water regarding QI. CWP staff can also get in touch to book in the same way as any of our other training offers.

As mentioned, we will be hosting the next CWP Q Network Event at Sycamore House on 17th December. If you’ve completed improvement projects, or i2i before, we’d love to have you along so get in touch.

Kyle will be attending a session with the national Q Community in Sheffield to find out how we can do things better together by looking at relational leadership.

And sadly, Tesni will be leaving for pastures new at the end of the month. Everyone in the SI Team and beyond wish her the very best in her new role with Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board!

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