Patient First: True North progress

Much of the strength of our hospitals lies in the skill, enthusiasm and innovation of our staff. The Trust Board is actively seeking to build an organisational culture that empowers these teams and individuals to make lasting changes that benefit our patients and community.

Patient First is the approach we’ll use to achieve this. It’s our leading, long-term approach to transforming the way we deliver our services for the better. It is a programme based on standardisation, system redesign and ongoing development of care pathways, built on a philosophy of incremental and continuous improvement led by front-line staff empowered to initiate and lead positive change.

Within Patient First are our four strategic themes on which we need to focus to create the organisation our patients want us to become:

  • Sustainability
  • People
  • Quality improvement
  • Systems and partnerships

Against each of these themes, we have set an ambitious, long term objective. These objectives represent the ‘True North’ of our organisation – the one constant towards which we must always set our direction of travel in order to achieve our vision.

There are five True North objectives, one for each strategic theme of Patient First plus an overarching measure of patient satisfaction:

  • Our True North focus around the patient is on patient satisfaction measured through the Friends and Family Test. We want to achieve an overall score over 96%.
  • Our True North focus around sustainability is to reduce our deficit until we balance our budget.
  • Our True North focus around Our People is to be in the top 20% in the country for staff engagement.
  • Our True North focus on Quality is to be in the top 20% of trusts for preventable mortality and provide 100% harm free care.
  • Our True North focus on Systems and Partnerships is to have 95% of patients waiting less than four hours and to reduce referral to treatment below 18 weeks for 92% of patients.

We’re already starting to see progress against some of these objectives. 56.3% of staff took the staff survey last year. Results show that 68% of staff agree that care is this organisation’s top priority.

Our improvement activity is supported by five pillars that will support the strategic themes and help us achieve the targets we have set under each:

  • Strategy deployment
  • Kaizen Office
  • Capability building
  • Patient First Improvement System (PFIS)
  • Improvement Initiatives

Some individuals and teams are already participating in training and projects that form part of these pillars.