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Consultancy > Case Studies > NHS Acute Trust

NHS Acute Trust – Director of Clinical Operations (February-June 2002)

This Trust was failing to meet NHS waiting list targets in spite of significant investment in private sector treatment programmes. Top line efficiency was falling and staff morale was at an all time low. TFPL was asked to analyse the situation from the perspective of information and patient flow and to implement new processes to resolve the problem. This work had to be done in the middle of a major strategic review of the hospital’s organisational structure which was creating an unsettled climate for change.

The project was led by Adrian Dale with a tight deadline of meeting the government’s targets by the end of March. He found that there was no effective information culture at the sharp end of patient care and that blockages in the information supply chain were responsible for a significant proportion of the inefficiency. Rapid changes were introduced to the reporting systems, e-enabling them where practical, and tight daily performance targets were set and monitored continuously.

Many staff had to be briefed and brought on board with significant changes to their working practices. They needed to understand their role in a much more tightly integrated information supply chain and take on board their new obligations. The results began to be seen within two weeks and performance climbed consistently until the government targets were met on time. The Trust was been awarded three stars for its performance having been a zero star trust in 2002.

NHS Acute Trust – Director of IM&T (July 2001 – January 2002)

In 2000 this Hospital suffered a number of serious IM & IT failures that affected patient safety and operating efficiency. The board of enquiry appointed TFPL to analyse the problem and assess how the technical and management skills of the IM&IT unit should be strengthened.

Adrian Dale led the project and found that the core issues related to the absence of IM & IT governance processes across the Trust and the absence of an operations management culture with the unit. Whilst the specific short term weaknesses had been addressed immediately following the incidents, we found that the same underlying attitudes and processes were still in place leaving the operations at serious risk of further failure. We recommended a radical programme of change to the governance and operations processes.

Our analysis was confirmed within weeks by a succession of small but serious failures before our recommendations could be implemented. The Trust then appointed Adrian Dale as Interim Director of IM&T with a brief to implement radical change over a three month period to eliminate further risks. This intervention was successful in stabilising the service and in developing a new climate in which IM&T investment was considered more strategically.

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