Skip to content
Speakers Andrew Carpenter and Sissa Moyo attend Kaizen Event for the Trust's Autism Service


Kaizen event held for quality improvement of austim service

Last Thursday, 16 May, our Trust held a ‘Kaizen’ event, as part of its Quality Improvement initiative, focusing on our Autism assessment service. The first half of the event included presentations from two external speakers and the afternoon session consisted of a group A3 improvement activity. 

This was the latest in a series of events that the trust has held, with previous sessions focusing on the Primary Care Psychotherapy Consultation Service (PCPCS) and Gender Identity Clinic (GIC). 

The two external speakers were Andrew Carpenter, who is the Austim Lead for NHS England,  and Sissa Moyo who is the Director of Partnerships & Transformation at Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust.

‘Kaizen’ is a Japanese portmanteau word, the combination of ‘kai’ meaning ’change’ and ’zen’, meaning ‘good’. This translates as ’good change’ and is synonymous with Continuous Quality Improvement. The Kaizen philosophy is that everyone should be involved in improvement, from Receptionist to an organisation’s Chief Executive Officer.

Our Trust uses the Kaizen approach to run improvement events where the A3 improvement methodology is used. During the Kaizen events, a team comes together to work towards agreeing on the areas of improvement the service needs.

A3 improvement methodology is a problem-solving and continuous improvement approach. The term “A3” refers to the size of the paper traditionally used to present information in a structured and concise manner. The A3 paper thus serves as a central.  

Group listening to the speakers at the Kaizen event
Kaizen Event

The events are supported and facilitated by the Trust Strategy and Transformation team. The goal is to achieve rapid, measurable improvements in efficiency, quality, safety, or other key performance indicators as defined in the organisational strategy and objectives.

The Quality Improvement initiative is aimed at giving the people closest to issues affecting care quality the time, permission, skills and resources they need to solve them. Frontline teams be they clinical, teaching or corporate, and service users be they patients, carers or students are closest to complex problems and therefore best placed to find solutions.

Since the summer of 2023, our Trust has been committed to using Quality Improvement to report and address issues, aligning our approach from floor to board for consistent communication, issue comprehension, and collaborative problem-solving.

Quality Improvement events such as Kaizen are of the utmost importance as healthcare systems and institutes of higher education, such as ours, are built on a complex network of processes and pathways. The quality of the care and teaching delivered by the system depends to a large extent on how well this network functions, and how well the professionals work together.