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Hospital Trusts Asks International Industrial Expert to Help Them Raise Efficiency

Originally published 1 October 2002

Two of Britain's biggest hospital trusts have enlisted the head of the University of Warwick’s Warwick Manufacturing Group - Professor Kumar Bhattacharyya, an international authority on industrial production, to collaborate with them to raise their efficiency.

Prof Bhattacharyya, an adviser on industrial and technological policy to the British, Indian and South African governments, believes he can help the Birmingham Heartlands and University Hospitals Birmingham trusts to raise efficiency by 30 per cent.

Warwick Manufacturing Group wants to begin with two pilot projects in pathology and prescription.

John Charlton, chairman of University Hospitals Birmingham, said: "This is an opportunity for WMG to apply some of the key lessons from manufacturing to the NHS "

Mark Goldman, chief executive of Birmingham Heartlands, said: "We aim to deliver new solutions by looking at how industrial organisations solve problems."

The trusts, which have 2,400 beds and combined budgets of about £450m a year, hope to use experience gained through the pilot projects to "re-engineer" their other activities, contributing to a change in processes and culture across the whole National Health Service.

Professor Bhattacharyya will today (Tuesday 1st of October 2002) open a £1,000,000 Department of Health laboratory modernisation programme has been completed at the Birmingham Heartlands and Solihull hospitals.

The ceremony will take place when Professor Bhattacharyya tours the laboratories at Heartlands at 12.15 pm. He will be accompanied by the Chairman of the Birmingham Heartlands and Solihull NHS Trust Mr Clive Wilkinson and Dr Alan Jones, (Clinical Director of Laboratory Medicine,) and Dr Bill Bartlett (Consultant Clinical Scientist and Project Director).

The labs will include new machinery, capable of processing 6,000 results an hour will be linked to websites, email and barcode systems, ensuring that doctors are able to get fast and accurate results. This will improve their ability to diagnose and monitor patients.

For further details please contact:
Nick Matthews,
Warwick Manufacturing Group
University of Warwick
Tel: 0777 5534352