Throughout October in CLIC we are shining a spotlight on improvement – helping you learn and connect with others across health and care to make a difference.

This week we are taking a closer look at how listening and acting on what’s important to our patients helps us identify ‘value’ so we can release time or make savings. If we can understand what adds value, we can identify value in all our processes and pathways and maximise this whilst minimising activities that are wasteful or do not add value.

There are five key steps to consider when maximising value:

  • Think about value from the perspective of people who use our services
  • Identify the value within our processes
  • Remove any waste
  • Minimise/improve the necessary value enabling (sometimes known as 'non-value adding') activities
  • Make the value flow

Find out more about maximising value in our toolkit...


Waste Wheel & Waste Walk

Eliminating waste with a focus on value for the the people who use our services results in improved quality, safety, efficiency and customer / staff satisfaction.

One way of identifying waste is by breaking it down into different categories like this (TRIM WOOD): Transportation; Resource; Inventory; Motion; Waiting; Over-production; Over–processing; Defects.

It can be really beneficial to take a 'waste walk' around your workplace (or even your home!), and look for some areas where improvements can be made.

You might want to ask yourself simple questions like... "Is there space that is under-utilised? Is the stock storage area too large? Is equipment sitting idle in the corridors?". There's a waste walk template that can help you with this. 

When you have identified all your issues (wastes), you and your colleagues can start to come up with ideas on how they can be improved or resolved. 

Find out more about the waste wheel and waste walk in our toolkit...





There's a useful video about waste below - whilst it's described in a slightly different way, the message remains the same:


Patient/Service User/Customer Journey Mapping

Seeing things from the perspective of the people who use our services is incredibly important, particularly as we want to ensure any improvements we make benefit them. Patient/Service User/Customer Journey Mapping is the process of tracking and describing, in a visual way, all the experiences that individuals have as they encounter a service or set of services, taking into account not only what happens to them, but also their responses and experiences - it enables us to see the whole picture.

Mapping out the process and drawing a diagram of the patient/service user/customer journey illustrates exactly what happens to them, over what timescale and where it took place. It gives a comprehensive picture of the experience that was had, and if repeated, can be used to gauge the effectiveness of any improvements that have been introduced.

Find out more about Patient/Service User/Customer Journey Mapping in our toolkit...


Process Mapping

Everything that we do is a process, from everyday simple activities like making a cup of coffee, to more complex tasks such as cooking a big dinner - this extends to all of our activity in our work environment too. 

There is room for improvement in every process, and process mapping as an exercise really helps us to visualise what steps usually take place and when (we call this the 'current state'), see things which don't add value, and enables us to easily identify opportunities to change the way we do things. This is great for staff morale and engagement, as it empowers individuals to improve the things that cause them frustration in the work environment.

Find out more about Process Mapping in our toolkit...



Stories from the ELFT Value Learning System

East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) is an organisation that embraces continuous improvement and learning, aspiring to provide care of the highest quality in collaboration with the people who use their services.

Earlier this year, they shared their take on what we mean by 'value', as well as a number of interesting improvement stories:

  • Reducing Trust Spend on Transport by Using Black Cabs
  • Making Better Decisions in Business Intelligence and Analytics
  • Reducing Complaints in Forensics
  • Reducing Waiting Times for Occupational Therapy (OT) Interventions

Read the stories and find out more about ELFT's work here...


Improvement examples - 15 seconds 30 minutes (15s30m):

15 seconds 30 minutes (or 15s30m for short) aims to help anyone identify how they could spend a few extra seconds on a task now which will save someone else 30 minutes or more later on. In doing so you will reduce frustration and increase joy.

Professor Rachel Pilling & Dan Wadsworth joined our LOC in the Lakes conference earlier this year to talk about 15s30m - you can watch their workshop again here or below. At that time we also looked for local examples of 15s30m type improvements, and we thought it would be useful to share these again with you below:

Remember, if you have an improvement story you would like to share, we would love to hear it! Please get in touch with us at: