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An NHS Trust implements an innovation capability to improve services through greater understanding of patient needs, creating a safe environment to experiment, learn and scale.

As with many NHS hospitals, the organisation had been pursuing various quality and cost improvement initiatives and methodologies for a number of years. Where some delivered benefits in the short term, these did not deliver benefits at scale. This resulted in unintended consequences of centralised command and control, low morale and increasing performance pressure. An approach was required that could engage and energise staff to transform Trust-wide behaviours and services.  Strasys was asked to help enable transformational change fuelled by empathy.

The Strasys approach

Openness, emotional engagement and a common purpose are critical in overcoming organisational biases and delivering what matters to consumers. All progress emanates from the freedom to make mistakes in the pursuit of organisation learning.

Strasys embedded an innovation capability and the requisite changes in behaviour for the organisation to identify and deliver areas of service improvement.  Working closely with the Board and Medical Director, Strasys setup a number of innovation teams from across the organisation to identify and deliver service improvements based on unique patient insights. Ethnographic, design thinking, behavioural science and prototyping tools were developed to support the process.

A series of ‘townhall’ design thinking sessions were held to capitalise on the wider organisation knowledge to identify patient pain points and prioritise interventions. This followed by an agile and learn by doing approach that consisted of number of ‘experiments’ in parallel running over four-week cycles. The learning was used to unblock change, promote the required behavioural change and implement successful solutions at scale.

Underpinning this approach were a number of tools including patient segmentation to identify unmet needs, dynamic digital simulations, predictive modelling, and prototyping. Over a period of a year these were embedded into the organisation.


The outcome was a renewed energy within the organisation centred around a simplified single transformation plan, mobilised to deliver the Trust’s five-year strategy.  Quality and cost improvement initiatives were absorbed into the overall plan with the organisation focused on improving outcomes. This resulted in over 50% reduction in projects and saved over £8million per annum on transformation costs. Transformational change fuelled by empathy.