Poor systems deliver poor results – for patients, NHS staff and taxpayers. Until now a common assumption in the NHS has been that more cost is required to improve patient flow and healthcare quality. However it can be argued that, so far, increases in cost have not resulted in proportionate improvements in access to or quality of care.
Our Flow Cost Quality programme focused on the relationship between patient flow, costs and outcomes in two NHS hospital trusts. It examined patient flow through the emergency care pathway and developing ways in which capacity can be better matched with demand, to prevent queues and poor outcomes for patients.
We worked in partnership with South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The teams were supported to:
Dr Kate Silvester provided dedicated clinical systems improvement expertise and worked closely with teams at both organisations. Kate has expertise on the design and management of organisational systems to deal with variability in demand and capacity. She originally trained and practised as an ophthalmologist before retraining as a manufacturing systems engineer.
She has extensive experience transferring manufacturing principles to service industries such as banking, airlines and healthcare. She has worked on national NHS programmes to improve the flow of patients through the system, improving the timeliness, cost and quality of healthcare.