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Lean and Six Sigma methodologies in NHS Scotland : an empirical study and directions for future research

Antony, Jiju and Kumar, Maneesh (2012) Lean and Six Sigma methodologies in NHS Scotland : an empirical study and directions for future research. Quality Innovation Prosperity, 16 (2). pp. 19-34. ISSN 1338-984X

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Abstract

In recent years, the healthcare industry is constantly concerned to provide better quality of patient care with less waste of resources through application of continuous improvement (CI) initiatives such as Lean and Six Sigma. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the status of Lean and Six Sigma methodologies in the National Health Service (NHS) Scotland. Data was collected using survey instrument to determine the status of these strategies within the NHS. Although the personnel of NHS do seem to have the basic skills to successfully implement Lean Six Sigma, there appears to be a failure on the part of senior management to successfully communicate the desires and needs of these powerful CI initiatives with personnel. Moreover, a lack of encouragement and motivation, resistance to change and blame culture are quite prevalent across the sector which prevents Lean and Six Sigma strategies from being utilized in a systematic manner.