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In the driver's seat

Using service improvement tools to drive up quality, drive out inefficiencies and drive down costs

Julia_Taylor.jpgJulia RA Taylor describes how service improvement tools can be used to drive up quality, drive out inefficiencies, and drive down costs. Julia built on this topic, when she presented Expert on Call on the 20th August 2009. Click here to listen to a recording of the event.


If you are involved in treating patients, managing and/or improving health services or managing or training those that do, you will understand the importance of providing the best care possible for all our patients.

High Quality Care for All has really helped to unite clinicians and managers around the principle of quality and to focus efforts on using innovation to drive up both the quality of patient care and the productivity of healthcare services.

Great progress has been made in improving service standards and access and in reducing waiting times, but there is still some way to go to ensure consistently high standards of patient care across the NHS.

It is clear that we need to ensure we are getting it right first time, which means better care and better value through the reduction of waste and errors and the prioritisation of effective treatments.  Quality, innovation, productivity and prevention (QIPP) is the mechanism through which we can achieve this.  

QIPP is about creating an environment in which change and improvement can flourish; it is about leading differently and in a way that fosters a culture of innovation; and it is about providing staff with the tools, techniques and support that will enable them to take ownership of improving quality of care.

This focus on innovation as the key driver for sustained quality improvements and unlocking productivity gains calls for a system-wide focus on designing and implementing more efficient and productive services that do not compromise on the quality and safety of patient care but rather enhance the patient experience.

For those of you with an interest in, or responsibility for, service transformation and quality improvement, QIPP provides a great opportunity to really engage and involve both clinical and managerial staff at all levels of the NHS in the quality agenda.  And this support is critical if quality improvement projects are to succeed.

Evidence shows that improvements in quality are led and delivered by teams that work together as part of a system.  This places a responsibility on service improvement leaders to influence and secure commitment for innovative service design and improvement projects at all levels of their organisation.

There is further onus on improvement leaders to secure an understanding that improvement doesn’t ‘just happen’, but rather requires capacity and capability and recognition that it is an essential driver of better patient care."

Julia RA Taylor

Julia Taylor’s Expert on Call WebEx, Lessons Learned: Using Service Improvement Tools Effectively took place on Thursday 20 August 2009.  Click here to listen to a recording of the event and to see the slides.

You may also find the following information useful, all of which is available on our website: