The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust Transformation Programme Support

7th December 2023

Nurse discussing information with patient

We reviewed the Walton Centre's approach to transformation and its governance between October 2022 and March 2023.

The Challenge

The Walton Centre had recently set up a Strategic Programme Management Office (SPMO) to align and coordinate larger-scale change programmes. They had also started to develop an approach to transformation called the ‘Walton Way’, including a ‘Six Steps’ transformation model. The Trust wanted to ensure this new approach would:

  • work across the whole organisation
  • provide proportionate governance
  • a consistent focus on quality
  • align with the Trust's strategy and planning processes
  • support front-line teams and patients to lead change

The Walton Centre commissioned the TU to review its existing transformational change programmes and its supporting approach to transformation, engaging teams in the delivery of the work.

Our Approach

Using evidence on quality management and improvement, including organisational effectiveness capability frameworks, we:​

  • Assessed organisational capability for improvement and management of large-scale change and the design of the SPMO
  • Developed governance and capability frameworks. These aim to support a tiered approach to change management and align with the Trust’s existing transformation capability.
  • Supported a Board development session. This focused on the proposed transformation approach and improvement method, quality management, governance arrangements, capability frameworks and an implementation plan
  • Clarified the purpose, role and effectiveness of the Transformation Team
  • Advised on how to align capability building and internal project management resources around the work. This included method, tools and plan for capability building
  • Facilitated a team away day and development session
  • Supported the relaunch of the Transformation Team and the transformation approach.
  • Provided assurance on quality across the improvement agenda

The Outcome

Our review demonstrated that the Trust has strong foundations for building improvement capability. The Walton Centre’s Board are clear about Quality Improvement’s importance and committed to ensuring quality is at the centre of all change. The Board development session supported the Board to understand their individual responsibilities in building improvement capacity. It helped them understand how the Trust-wide approach to transformation would support both continuous improvement and large-scale change. The Board was able to clarify their position on quality and finance. This is critical to ensuring that all change maintains a central focus on quality.

The SPMO is now in a stronger position to govern large-scale change. As a governance forum, it determines where different scales of change should be overseen. This ensures proportionate governance and supports greater freedom for teams and individuals to deliver improvement without unnecessary bureaucracy.

We recommended use of a hybrid approach to improvement. This built on the Walton Centre’s model and incorporated previous experience with the Lean method. We recommended using the Model for Improvement to support continuous improvement. A refocus of existing ‘Quality Improvement’ capacity will ensure effective use of the team.

The recommendations were adopted by the Walton Centre.  They are currently launching the new transformation approach to the whole Trust.

The client was delighted with the outcome of the work confirming that it had delivered what was required, ‘I do not feel that anything more could be done’.  They stated that the combination of improvement knowledge coupled with coaching skills were ‘absolutely what was needed’.