By Karen Morrell, CLIC Programme Manager

As the name suggests the A3 is linked to its size – an ideal size to visually capture information about your improvement initiative. The A3 is a thinking and planning tool, helping you to focus and visualise your ideas for improvement. 

The A3 has recently been refreshed to include the 4Ss (Staff, System working, Service quality and Sustainable finance), which link to the joint business objectives/priorities for the system. By using the 4S approach, Process Owners / Sponsors for improvement can consider what are they hoping to achieve by delivering this improvement, and how is it going to benefit our staff and patients. Here are some examples of how the 4S approach has been used:

  • Staff – Standardised processes and clearly defined roles and responsibilities
  • System Working – Improve flow and working with our partners across health and social care e.g. ICC colleagues
  • Service Quality – Reduce waiting times, reduction in length of stay, improved key performance indicators for example 4 hour A&E target
  • Sustainable Finance – Reduction in agency use, reduction in travel expenses

The A3 is a ‘living’ document and should be updated for the life of the improvement initiative, revisiting the 4S’s on a regular basis to review whether any further benefits have been achieved / or will be achieved through implementation of the improvement.

For more information on A3s and to download a template, please visit the Cumbria Production System Toolkit.


CLIC Improvement Support Officer Lydia Hulme combines her day job with volunteering for Guide Dogs for the Blind. She has recently been rewarded by winning the ‘Open’ category North East volunteer of the year award at an event in Newcastle. Lydia, and her guide dog Bertie, spend much of their free time giving talks to local schools and community groups and she won the award for working with Guide Dogs’ national communications team.

Lydia works with the team to improve their national strategy around communicating with volunteers to “provide valuable insight and considered, intelligent suggestions” for their recent campaigns. Displaying exactly the sort of qualities that have served her so well in CLIC, Lydia helped the national team engage with their target audience and co-produce information and campaign materials.

Well done Lydia!

Now in it’s fourth consecutive year, the Our Health Heroes awards celebrates the thousands of people who work in healthcare, and are the backbone of the sector.

This year, going bigger and better, recognising the hard work of even more of our nation’s Healthcare Heroes; whether they are support workers, apprentices, integrated teams or workforce planner staff, Skills for Health and Health Education England don’t want their work to go unnoticed. New for 2019, also being introduced is the Outstanding Contribution award and the Learning and Development Project of the Year Award. Click on a category below to find out more about who could be nominated as an Our Health Hero.

The 2019 award categories are:

  • Operational Services Support Worker Award
  • Clinical Support Worker Award
  • Apprentice of the Year
  • Outstanding Contribution Award
  • Learning and Development Project
  • Workforce Planning Team of the Year
  • Integrated Team of the Year
  • Staff Wellbeing Employer of the Year

Click on here to go to the Skills for Health website and find out more about who could be nominated as an Our Health Hero.

The deadline for nominations is 29th June.

The application window for Wave 11 is now open and we are looking for new schemes that enable staff to take forward improvements within their service aligned to the Business Objectives 2019/20 and organisational priorities.  

Engaging for Improvement focuses on identifying an idea for improvement, gathering information to understand and measure your change and help you engage with your own team and wider stakeholders.  The success of any improvement lies in engagement and involvement of the right people from the outset.  It is a six step approach designed to be worked through over a period of 20 weeks; Wave 11 will take place between August 2019 and January 2020, during this time the CLIC Team will actively support you to lead your improvement.

If you think Engaging for Improvement is something you are interested in follow THIS LINK to access an Expression of Interest Form complete and return this to the CLIC Team at by the 15th July 2019.