Nurses in east Kent move up a gear... thanks to Toyota1
The tabards used by staff
on ward rounds
Nurses have drawn inspiration for
smooth-operating wards from an unusual source... Toyota!
Wards across Kent are now well-oiled
machines, thanks to techniques used to make cars.
East Kent Hospitals University NHS
Foundation Trust (EKHUT), which employs 6,500 staff, the
‘Productive Ward’ system is expected to save the trust more than
£1.8m by 2014.
The programme, which sets out
practical ways for nurses and clinicians to complete daily tasks,
is based on a model designed by Toyota.
‘Lean’ as it's called, standardises
processes used for making cars. It improves flow and eliminates
Now the NHS Institute for Innovation
and Improvement has used the model to create ‘Productive
The scheme is also being used at
Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham and Darent Valley Hospital
Chris Hamson has been a nurse for more
than 15 years. He worked with the programme and found it so
practical he decided to leave his role as a ward manager and spread
the word about its benefits.
"Looking for equipment is one of the biggest time consumers for
nurses, so this cuts that.
"Research from the Institute showed a
lot of processes that apply to a car manufacturer apply to health
"I left my job as ward manager to
embed this across the whole trust - it's been very engaging."
The project includes tabards worn by
staff on ward rounds urging people not to interrupt the round
The project was trialled back in 2008,
but after a year the Trust bidded for money from the Strategic
Health Authority to have it fully operational; costing
It is now being used in 52 wards
across all hospitals under the Trust, the QEQM, William Harvey and
East Kent and Canterbury.
Before the programme was enforced in
2009 there could be a number of obstacles delaying a drugs round –
taking up to two hours.
But the trust says this has now been
reduced to an average of 40 minutes a day because of the new
Productive Ward facilitator Crystal
McLeod said: "We looked into visual ways so we are able to find
drug charts more easily and we’ve standardised drug trolleys so
they weren't cluttered.
"We use lots of visual tools to help
staff return equipment to the place they took them from. For
example we use parking mats so if blood pressure equipment is taken
away you know somebody’s using it.
"It’s about empowering ward-based
staff; it is a bottom-up programme to make changes that will
improve themselves and their patients."
Hospital across the South have adopted
the manufacturing influenced techniques and PM David Cameron has
also raised the profile of the ‘Productive Ward’ model.
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