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National recognition for mental health trust

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Our trust has been singled out for praise by the Department of Health’s clinical quality lead.

Sir John Oldham, a GP and expert member of the National Quality Board, paid tribute to the work that TEWV had done to improve the quality of its services.

He visited the trust to learn more about their quality improvement system, which is based on a system developed by Toyota and adapted for health care by the Virginia Mason Medical Centre in Seattle.

He had heard of the success of the trust’s quality improvement system and wanted to witness their achievements first hand.  

He visited hospital sites in Darlington and Durham and was highly complimentary of the trust and what it had accomplished.

Speaking while at West Park Hospital in Darlington, Sir John Oldham, national clinical lead for quality and productivity, said: “Today’s visit has been inspiring.

“I know of no other organisation in the UK or Europe that is so comprehensively implementing kaizen (continuous improvement) in a health care setting to the obvious benefit of patients, staff and users of resources. 

“The whole of the NHS need to follow where Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust have led.” 

Dr Ruth Briel, clinical director at the trust, said: “One of the most important elements of our quality improvement system is that it empowers staff to make changes.  

“It gives them the tools to help identify and remove waste so that they can focus on what adds value  - improving the lives of the people who use our services.”

The trust’s quality improvement system has helped staff to transform services in all areas of the trust.

They have streamlined processes and redesigned services, improving patient care and access to services. For example

  • Adult inpatient services in Middlesbrough redesigned the way they worked to dramatically improve patient care and reduce the time that people spend in hospital. The new assessment and care planning process was rolled out to all inpatient areas.
  • Occupational therapists in older people’s services in Durham have doubled the amount of clinical time they are able to spend with patients.
  • Substance misuse services in Darlington have improved access to services by running evening clinics.
  • Children’s community services in Easington have dramatically reduced waiting times.