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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

Network wins national award for continuous improvement

The NIHR Clinical Research Network has won a prestigious national award for work undertaken to improve clinical research delivery in the NHS.

Carly Craddock (formerly Cooper), who is based at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and is a regional manager for the part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network which supports mental health research, was presented with the Lean Healthcare Academy Award in the Lean Champion category yesterday evening, 6 February 2014.

The award recognises Carly’s achievements in reducing the time it takes to set-up mental health research studies in the NHS in the Heart of England region, and for driving a culture of continuous improvement. It also acknowledges Carly’s contribution to the Clinical Research Network’s national programme of continuous improvement.  

Carly said:

“Winning the award is important to us as a team. Although I was nominated as the Lean Champion, the results we’ve seen locally are really down to the hard work of the staff, the ideas they have suggested for improvements, and their enthusiasm to keep improving the services we provide.”

Clinical research is the way that doctors gather evidence about new treatments, in order to improve patient care in the NHS. Funded by the Department of Health, the NIHR Clinical Research Network provides services to help researchers conduct their studies successfully. These services are delivered by the Network’s large workforce of trained research nurses and clinical delivery staff based in hospitals and surgeries throughout the country.

The Lean Healthcare Academy helps NHS organisations and clinical networks to generate time and cost savings and improve the patient experience by implementing a methodology known as “Lean”. It involves reviewing current practices and looking at how the organisation and its workforce can do things better and work more efficiently.

Commenting on the award, Jonathan Sheffield, Chief Executive Officer of the NIHR Clinical Research Network said:
“Research plays a key role in helping the NHS to understand and respond to the challenges it faces. The Lean Healthcare Academy award demonstrates the Network’s commitment to keep improving research delivery in the NHS, so we can keep improving the NHS, and keep improving patient outcomes.”

The Lean Healthcare Academy awards event, now in its sixth year, is a forum for rewarding achievement and sharing best practice, as well as offering an opportunity to learn from some of the most successful and pioneering professionals in the UK.

The NIHR Clinical Research Network earned three nominations (two in the Lean Champion category; and one in the Productive Leader category) for projects undertaken as part of its organisation-wide improvement drive. The Network’s “Continuous Improvement Programme” began in January 2012 and develops activities and initiatives to help optimise organisational performance and impact.