Productive Operating Theatre

The Productive Operating Theatre

IMG_0534low res.JPGThe NHS Institute is developing an exciting new programme for nurses, surgeons and anaesthetists: The Productive Operating Theatre.

This programme will form part of The Productive series and will be similar in approach to The Productive Ward, The Productive Leader and The Productive Community Hospital, where we have applied advanced improvement strategies, particularly lean thinking, to help staff achieve a step change in performance.

The Productive Operating Theatre is the first programme in development where we are focussing on nurses, surgeons, anaesthetists and the Trust Board.  It has three main aims which will contribute to improved outcomes and experience for the patient:

  • Increasing the safety and reliability of care
  • Improving team performance and leadership
  • Adding value and improving efficiency

The programme is based on global best practice. It is focused on eliminating errors, introducing briefing, debriefing and communication techniques so that everyone in the theatre team understands what is going on, and learning from near misses. Lean thinking methods are used to create a well organised environment with transparent measurement of quality, and then to improve key processes, such as scheduling and theatre start-up.

We will launch a series of evidence based modules for The Productive Operating Theatre, which are currently being developed and tested with 6 hospitals across England. The learning from the first 3 sites (Field test sites) is now being applied and tested in a further 3 sites (Associate sites).  Modules are expected to be ready for a phased roll-out to the NHS starting with the foundation modules in September 2009.


Further information about The Productive Operating Theatre

•   Programme overview (Programme overview130.35 KB)

Access outputs from the Modernisation Agency theatre programme on:

• Pre-op assessment day surgery
• Pre-op assessment for in-patients
• Step guide to operating theatre performance

View the film 'The Productive Operating Theatre - the experience of Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust', which shows the benefits briefing and debriefing has brought to the team.

View the film 'Just a routine operation’

Register your interest for the launch of The Productive Operating Theatre.

If you want to let us know about your own innovations in operating theatres, or have other queries, please email us

The Productive Operating Theatre is part of The Productive Series (The Productive Series 611.85 KB)