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Learning, improvement and innovation (healthcare services)

  • Organisations we regulate

W8. Are there robust systems and processes for learning, continuous improvement and innovation?

W8.1 In what ways do leaders and staff strive for continuous learning, improvement and innovation? Does this include participating in appropriate research projects and recognised accreditation schemes?

W8.2 Are there standardised improvement tools and methods, and do staff have the skills to use them?

W8.3 How effective is participation in and learning from internal and external reviews, including those related to mortality or the death of a person using the service? Is learning shared effectively and used to make improvements?

W8.4 Do all staff regularly take time out to work together to resolve problems and to review individual and team objectives, processes and performance? Does this lead to improvements and innovation?

W8.5 Are there systems to support improvement and innovation work, including objectives and rewards for staff, data systems, and processes for evaluating and sharing the results of improvement work?

Case studies

Hinchingbrooke Hospital made its A&E Department a nicer place for staff and patients with a number of changes to meetings and processes, waiting areas, and by providing more appropriate care for patients with dementia.
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust set up a formal quality steering group led by the chief nurse who also developed the project management process needed to deliver improvements.
East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust introduced a new quality improvement methodology aimed at reducing pressure ulcers. The trust can scrutinise every pressure ulcer, consider what to do about it, and prevent it happening again. There are now very few Grade 2 pressure ulcers.
University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust’s Listening into Action (LiA) involves front line staff proposing projects that will make a difference to patient care. Pressure sores have been almost eliminated and a new training programme continues to save lives.
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust introduced daily safety huddles to discuss one or more patient harms such as falls, pressure ulcers and avoidable deterioration. Good safety performance is recognised and wards saw a steep reduction in falls.
Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust introduced improvement walks - an opportunity for staff to raise issues or ask for help - the success of which has led to the development of a ‘model ward’ programme. Involving staff has highlighted the shift towards autonomy to continuously improve and deliver their own service.
Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust is working with the Virginia Mason Institute to develop a ‘Kaizen Promotion Office’. The trust is focusing on continuous improvement in the first 24 hours in hospital for frail and older patients, and the cancer diagnostic processes.
University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust launched a ‘virtual ward’ in partnership with a private provider. Patients received the same type of care they would in hospital, but in their own home. The Trust also aims to improve a patient’s fitness before major surgery through prehabilitation. Patients are encouraged to stop smoking, manage their alcohol intake, eat healthily, and manage their medicines effectively.


Last updated:
15 May 2018