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I started my leadership and improvement career in the process sector working for ICI and qualified as a chartered engineer in 2004.  In 2006, I joined the NHS on the national Gateway to Leadership programme to lead improvement activity including pilot work for Productive Ward, at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust.  I moved to Royal Bolton Hospital in 2008 to lead the Bolton Improving Care System (BICS) and the BICS Academy based on the principles of lean thinking adapted for healthcare.  Teams using BICS delivered many improvements in mortality, flow, quality and morale across many healthcare pathways.  In 2012, BICS won the European Process Excellence Award for best mature improvement programme against stiff competition from organisations including BNFL and Carphone Warehouse.  In 2013, prior to commencing my PhD, I led improvement work nationally for NHS Blood and Transplant working on the blood donation supply chain.

I am a Health Foundation Generation Q Fellow, as well as a Q Member, and have completed a PhD is a funded via a Health Foundation improvement science PhD award.   My thesis is entitled ‘Regulation for improvement? A study of how improvement capability is conceptualised by healthcare regulatory agencies in the United Kingdom' and was supervised by Professor Kieran Walshe and Professor Ruth Boaden at Alliance Manchester Business School.

Following the completion of my thesis I took a QI advisor role within NHS Improvement and the national Vital Signs Lean improvement practice.  I have now returned to academia, working at Alliance Manchester Business School as a Senior Lecturer on the NHS Anderson programme.

I am particularly interested in different leadership and improvement approaches, including lean.   I am also very interested in the development of improvement capability across and within organisations and healthcare systems.  I am also interested in the regulatory role in encouraging behavioural change in organisations to support improvement capability assessment and development.

Talks offered

  • QI for beginners: an introduction to Lean Healthcare

    Joy will share a talk is aimed at those new to quality improvement (QI) approaches and introduces lean as one of the numerous QI approaches used in healthcare. The talk will give a practical example of how it can be used, and will compare this approach with other approaches in common use. This will lead into an open discussion about the challenges and critiques of using these approaches and what this can mean in practice.

  • What do you mean by improvement capability?

    Many of us in Q want to support the development of improvement capability. But what do we mean by improvement capability, and how can it be assessed? Joy will share a talk will cover differing perspectives of improvement capability and the varied instruments and frameworks that could be used for its assessment and subsequent development. See my Q blog 'Developing Improvement Capability':

Blog posts

Contact Joy Furnival

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