Hospitals win award after creating ‘army of problem solvers’

Members of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's 'Kaizen team' and colleagues who have put their training into practice collected the accolade from the awards' host, the Rev Richard Cole
Members of Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's 'Kaizen team' and colleagues who have put their training into practice collected the accolade from the awards' host, the Rev Richard Cole

Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has won a top education and training award.

The NHS trust that runs Worthing Hospital, Southlands Hospital in Shoreham and St Richard’s in Chichester, has won the Education & Training award at the 2018 HSJ Patient Safety Awards, in recognition of its continuous improvement staff training programme designed to create an army of problem solvers.

The judges said: “This winner was an ambitious project that demonstrated an excellent training programme that embedded problem solving and improvement theory alongside successfully transforming hospital cultures.

“The judges felt staff at all levels had been trained to deliver a professional methodology and support system and the entry showed a purposeful and clear vision.”

Members of the ‘Kaizen team’, as well as colleagues who have put their training into practice, collected the accolade from the awards’ host, broadcaster, vicar and former Communards band member the Rev Richard Cole.

Building ‘capability’ within the trust by training staff to both yellow and green belt lean problem-solving standards is one of the key pillars of its Patient First Improvement Programme. The aim is to create a workforce capable of making improvements and to make continuous improvement part of daily business.

Designed and led by the Kaizen team, the course runs over two days, and is open to any member of staff – its only entrance requirement is that attendees come with a problem to solve, which relates to one of the trust’s five strategic aims.

Consequently, consultants, divisional managers, nurses, kitchen staff and other employees all train alongside one another.

A hospitals spokesman said so far, more than 440 staff have received training with some of the 2017 candidates using their new skills to reduce delayed discharges from the intensive care unit. Prior to the project, an average of 18 patients were delayed every week. That number is now two to four patients a week, and those delays are clinically appropriate.

Chief medical officer Dr George Findlay said: “Another year and yet another prestigious prize at the National Patient Safety Awards in Manchester. In 2017, we were named Best Organisation and this week we won the Education & Training award.

“My congratulations to the Kaizen Team who have been leading on what the judges described as an excellent training programme.”