Transforming Care

Simon Wright Chief ExecutiveChief Executive Simon Wright explains how we are Transforming Care in partnership with the Virginia Mason Institute – the USA’s ‘Hospital of the Decade’.

In September 2015 The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) embarked on an extremely exciting programme of work in partnership with the Virginia Mason Institute (VMI) in Seattle, with the aim of becoming the Safest and Kindest in the NHS.

Placing our Patients First and designing our services to be the safest in the NHS is an ambitious statement, but we feel our staff can deliver on this challenge and our patients deserve this of us.

SaTH was one of just five Trusts, chosen through a competitive bidding process, to be awarded the resources and support to work with an internationally renowned institute that has overcome many obstacles to providing safe, effective and compassionate care within their organisation.

Since the partnership was established we have come a long way.  In September 2016 we reached another milestone with the launch of our Transforming Care Institute (TCI).

We knew, when we started our partnership with Virginia Mason, that we would want to take over the ownership of the work we are doing—to make it SaTH’s way of doing things.

As we make these changes—and this includes the significant changes to our organisational design through our Sustainable Services programme, which compliments the work we are doing with Virginia Mason— and as the boundaries between that work start to blur, it is important we have our own identity; that we begin to move away from referencing Virginia Mason and say ‘this is SaTH’s way of doing things’.

We wanted to make sure all the changes we are making are captured under one umbrella that represents our organisation and that is how the Transforming Care Institute (TCI) was born.

The Institute itself is based in the Copthorne Building at The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. All of our innovation and change work will now be housed in the TCI, which includes classroom space and a lecture theatre.

The power of what we are doing is not the facility and it does not rest on people like me; it is in the frontline staff who are doing this work and making it happen.

When I went to Seattle to see the work of Virginia Mason, the thing that struck me the most was the passion of its staff to deliver change. It is everywhere within the organisation; it is palpable. That level of real excitement was something that was so special to myself and other members of the Board and it is something that we are definitely seeing here.

At a local level, I am delighted by the energy and engagement of our staff involved in the Value Streams. Once we understand the true experience of our patients and staff, it becomes much easier to identify the opportunities for improvement.

I would encourage all staff to find opportunities to discover more about the Virginia Mason partnership and become involved in value streams. By the time we get to year five, this will be all of our work that all of us are doing. It will be natural to us and part of making sure we are going in the right direction in our ambition to be the safest and kindest organisation in the NHS.

You can read more about our different improvement processes (Value Streams) by viewing the individual pages in the left hand menu, or you can view the video below to find out about successes and improvements that have been a result of the Transforming Care system.

The Virginia Mason Institute (VMI) has transformed its systems to become widely regarded as one of the safest hospitals in the world.

It transformed the care it was providing by looking at the Toyota Production System and manufacturing principles, making quality and safety its top priority.

The result was the Virginia Mason Production System (VMPS), a daily part of work at Virginia Mason and an integral part of the organisation’s success.

VMPS is now an industry leader in setting patient care quality standards in healthcare in the USA.

Virginia Mason will provide training and coaching to us and four other Trusts to draw inspiration from VMPS and develop new ways of working – prioritising the needs of patients and colleagues through eliminating waste and continuous improvement.