Improvement System Toolkit

Our Improvement System Toolkit

What is our Improvement System?

Our Improvement System is a way of working to support improvement and innovation across health and care in the North East and North Cumbria.

There are many methods and tools that can be used in productivity and improvement projects; however, this toolkit brings together a number of evidence based methods and tools that are being successfully used across our partnership.  

Our Toolkit

The Improvement System Toolkit has been broken down into three sections: process, tools, and engagement.

We then have the various tools that you can use at different stages of your improvement journey. As you will see, some tools can be used at more than one stage of the process. On our toolkit, you are able to click on the tools to find out more about it.


Diagnosis of problem

Where are we now?


Current State

Where do we want to be?


What does good look like?



Future state

Ideas Generation/ Problem Solving

Implementing your plan

Measure and celebrate success




Waste Wheel



5 Whys


Fishbone – NHS England



Process Mapping


Spaghetti Diagrams


Value Stream Mapping






OGIM Toolkit
OGIM Template


Value Stream Mapping





Convergent thinking


Thinking creatively” – NHS England








Measuring for improvement

7 steps’


After Action Review


Co-Production & Involvement Toolkit



Customer Journey Mapping

Stakeholder Analysis

Ideas for facilitating sessions – Liberating Structures

Supporting people through change” – NHS England

Case study template


Use of toolkit
You can use this toolkit to:

  • Enable productivity and efficiency gains in our systems of care
  • Support individuals, teams and organisations to achieve improvement and innovation across the whole North East and North Cumbria health and care system
  • Give guidance to support improvement work and problem solving and resolve issues within and across health and care – including how to engage better with the public and with service users to ‘co-produce’ change
Boost is about supporting and facilitating, sharing best practice and creating a common language for improvement.
How can we transform our services?

The Improvement System is just one part of how we can successfully support change:

The changes you may be involved in could be at service level in your setting; a GP practice, acute or community services. Or, some of you may be involved in large-scale change projects, for example: redesigning a care pathway or developing Integrated Care Communities. The three elements of the transitional model above are vital factors, proven to work together to achieve effective and sustainable change. For any change, large or small, you need to know, what you are trying to improve (Vision), how you will know that a change is an improvement (Method – Improvement System), and how to take everyone with you (Culture – Our Compact).

Principles underpinning our toolkit

Underpinning our toolkit is ensuring that we see our services from the patient's perspective. Considering the value for our patients is the foundation stone for improving services. Patient value is a combination of their individual experience of a service together with the effectiveness and safety of the care they receive.

It is important that we balance the patient experience with safety and effectiveness of care. Most patients assume that they will receive a safe, effective service and it is only when it becomes apparent that this is not the case that they become aware. Therefore, patients often measure value most through their experience.

Ultimately, we want to provide the best experience, effective care and safe care to the people who use our services.

Patient involvement is key when looking to improve our services. To find out more about this, visit our Co-Production and Involvement Toolkit.

When embarking on any improvement, it is key that we listen and act on what’s important to our patients, this helps us to identify ‘value’. 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 thus releasing time and reducing costs.

We can break it down into activities that add value to the patient, those that don’t add value but are necessary (for example statutory returns, storage of annual accounts), and those that are waste (for example searching for equipment and supplies). The aim is to reduce the value enabling activities and remove waste.

If we can do this, we can create more capacity to see patients and be more productive within existing resources.

 If you would like to find out more please contact us:


Pemberton House, Colima Avenue Sunderland Enterprise Park Sunderland, SR5 3XB

Copyright ©

Join our movement...

Sign up for our latest news, events, opportunities, and to connect with us
Skip to content