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Amnis advocates a strategic approach to ensuring NHS efficiency

Egham, Surrey, UKLearning NewsAmnis

According to the specialist healthcare quality, innovation and productivity improvement enabler, Amnis, there needs to be a fundamental shift in the way healthcare organisations work, both internally and across health economies - if the opportunities identified recently for improvements in the efficiency of healthcare are to be realised.

Amnis’ comments come in the wake of a report by management consultants, McKinsey and Company, which was rejected by the Government but which advocated cutting the NHS workforce in England by ten per cent over the next five years in the cause of improving cost efficiency within the healthcare sector.

The plans to close 137,000 NHS clinical and administrative posts were said to save £20bn by 2014. The consultants also advocated a recruitment freeze and early retirement programme.

Mark Eaton, managing director of Amnis, commented: “Achieving high impact efficiency improvements in the NHS within a reasonable timescale will need a massive increase in the pace of change and the creation of a different mindset amongst senior leaders if they really want to ‘change the game’.

“Many organisations which have already embarked on these changes are discovering that the most cost effective way of achieving this is to develop the organisation’s internal capability to lead its own change programmes rather than rely heavily on external management consultants.

“For many healthcare organisations this will mean building up a core of skilled Lean practitioners,” he continued.

“However, the application of Lean principles and systems to solve tactical issues will not drive the long-term change that is required. Lean is part of the armoury for change but strategy must drive the engine.

“The key to success is to take a strategic approach to improvement that combines implementation and planning with a focus on engaging teams and dealing with facts rather than assumptions,” Eaton stated. “It is this strategic approach to transformation that will drive the programme of change.”

In his view, trying to do the same things better or working harder will only realise a very small improvement in the way services operate. Believing that services cannot be improved further or accepting that current performance is adequate will limit the small gains achieved even further, he added.

“There are two useful sayings that apply here,” Eaton said. “One is, ‘if you always do what you have always done you will always get what you have always had’ and the second is, ‘change nothing and nothing changes.’

“I believe that there are difficult and complex decisions to be made if the full scale of the potential benefits are to be realised but every project and programme that we, at Amnis, have led has shown that it is possible to achieve – provided that the senior leaders have the focus and courage to tackle the big issues; the front-line teams are engaged and have the capability to change the game and, most of all, that the whole organisation has the resilience to turn plans for improvement into real life changes,” he concluded.

For more information, visit Amnis at www.amnis.uk.com, email info@amnis.uk.com or call 0870 446 1002.

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