Engaging Clinical Colleagues in Waste Reduction

Author: Kathryn EssexDate: 4 months 4 weeks Ago

As a relatively new PMO team at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, trying to implement improved cost savings, our biggest challenge has always been engaging staff in the processes and need to keep the momentum going around reducing costs. Luckily, there is excellent clinical leadership throughout the organisation, and thanks to a brainwave from our Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Finance Clinician of the Year; David Berridge, we took on the challenge of getting key clinical and managerial leadership from across the organisation in one room, all together for a morning, with the shared aim of reducing waste. 
On Tuesday 30 April, we held a conference entitled ‘Improving the Quality of our Services through Clinical and Financial Collaboration’. Wordy, but it encapsulated exactly what we’re trying to do in the PMO and Finance more widely: we know that implementing cost improvement programmes (or waste reduction, as it is known here at Leeds, in conjunction with the Leeds Improvement Method) only works when it is a collaboration between finance and the doctors, nurses and managers implementing the change. We had over 300 attendees, representing all 18 frontline departments (or ‘Clinical Service Units’ as they’re known locally) and staff groups in key positions of leadership, open and willing to engage in waste reduction.
The morning was tightly structured and planned, as we scheduled a range of activities in order to make best use of the time of the senior and experienced colleagues in the room. After opening speeches from our Chief Executive Julian Hartley, Finance Director Simon Worthington and David Berridge himself, there were a range of presentations from colleagues around the organisation who had successfully implemented waste reduction in their areas, as well as opportunities to share learning in facilitated group work. The speakers demonstrated how joined up working with finance colleagues had not only reduced financial waste, but provided improved patient experience, care and timely access to hospital services within respective areas. Delegates also had an opportunity to informally share ideas and learn about opportunities from the market stalls around the room, from PLICs data to implementing virtual clinics. We rounded off the morning with a Q&A panel involving all the key players in finance and the organisation.
So far feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with the vast majority of attendees finding it a useful and insightful day. There was an especially positive response from delegates to the presentation from Simon Worthington, in which he brought alive the link between savings made and the opportunity to access capital spend, essential to our long-term project ‘Building the Leeds Way’. Despite the success of the conference, we don’t want to rest on our laurels. The ideas for waste reduction have been coming thick and fast into the PMO, and we need to jump on this momentum in order to capture the enthusiasm for waste reduction and keep it going.
As a team, we’re always keen to share ideas internally and externally with other Trusts; feel free to get in touch - leedsth-tr.pmo.finance@nhs.net.