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Chief of Regulatory Compliance and Improvement, and Honorary Lecturer

Joy Furnival

North West Ambulance Service & Alliance Manchester Business School

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I lead the regulatory compliance and improvement (quality management) team including regulatory relationships, health, safety and security; internal assurance and accreditation, clinical audit, quality improvement programmes such as ‘Every Minute Matters’, ‘Right Care at Home’, ‘Productive Ambulance’ and capability building.  During the pandemic, I also led the internal COVID-19 testing cell at the North West Ambulance Service and I am an Honorary Lecturer at Alliance Manchester Business School.

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 innovative 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, amongst many other awards, BICS won the European Process Excellence Award for best mature improvement programme against stiff competition from organisations including BNFL and Carphone Warehouse.  After leaving Bolton, I led improvement work nationally for NHS Blood and Transplant working on the blood donation supply chain and supported Manchester NHS FT in establishing their transformation team.

Following completion of my thesis in 2017, I worked in a national role for NHS Improvement working on policy development, implementation and evaluation for ‘Developing People, Improving Care’, with a focus on Board development, improvement culture and improvement capability development, with a particular interest in the North of England.  I was the NHS Improvement site lead for the Vital Signs lean programme at East Lancashire NHS Trust and supported the national development of the Vital Signs programme with a particular focus on the practice of Toyota Kata and by drawing from on the learning from the Virginia Mason partnership with 5 NHS Trusts.

I am a Health Foundation Generation Q Fellow, as well as a Q Member, and 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. I have also worked as an academic and senior lecturer on the NHS Anderson Programme (MSc Healthcare Leadership), the HSST healthcare scientist doctoral programme, and as a member of a major research programme regarding the societal recovery from COVID-19 with the Global Resilient Cities Network.  I continue to support research work and work as a peer reviewer. I have published several papers, book chapters and blogs on quality improvement in health and care.

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

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