By Danielle Smith, Service Improvement Analyst with CLIC

In advance of the Trust merger, the recruitment teams from both the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) and North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust (NCUHT) came together to make many improvements in the recruitment process for applicants and recruiting managers. 

Cumbria Learning and Improvement Collaborative (CLIC) facilitated a week-long Rapid Process Improvement Workshop (RPIW) during the 12th – 16th August 2019, focusing on streamlining, integrating and standardising the recruiting process, and improving the onboarding experience.

Past experience has shown that in order to make sure that any improvement is sustainable, sufficient preparation beforehand is absolutely key. Therefore prior to the workshop, the CLIC team worked closely with the recruitment team to identify targets for improvement, capture the current state through observation, measurement and process mapping. This meant that everyone entered the workshop ready to hit the ground running.

The week itself kicked off with participants learning about improvement tools and approaches that form part of the Cumbria Production System and using these tools to improve their current processes. One of the tools used throughout the week was process mapping, where the flow of all of the separate processes within recruitment was visually displayed. This allowed the teams to identify waste and add value to the recruitment process. A value-stream map was also created to measure the time taken and identify value from the customer perspective. This tool was used by the teams to help with streamlining and to establish the lead time for recruitment.

During the rest of the week, members of the recruitment team worked alongside customers and their colleagues from other departments to problem solve the various recruitment and onboarding processes and redesigned an improved future state. Using a Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) tool, they were able to test out ideas for improvement.

There were a significant number of improvements which included:

  • A 20% reduction in overall time to recruit
  • The approval process was streamlined from 192 to 48 hours
  • Processes were integrated and standardised between the two recruitment teams, with 22 of 27 differences between the two teams’ processes being addressed
  • Establishment of a uniform ordering process which removes over 200 hours waste (equivalent to £2,000 a year)
  • A new, unified, recruitment team standard operating procedure was brought together, updated, and standardised, and further guidance for recruiting managers was created, with a bespoke training program planned for the future


The RPIW doesn’t end here, the teams have a plan for further improvements over the next 30-60-90 days and CLIC will provide support and follow up to embed the improvements and achieve the targets agreed at the outset.

If you would like more information on a RPIW with the CLIC team, please contact: 

For more information on Process Mapping, Value Stream Mapping and other improvement tools, please go to the Cumbria Production System Toolkit.

The 2019 Golden Apple Awards recognise and reward excellence in education and learning.

We're delighted to share with you that CLIC has been selected as a finalist in this year's Golden Apple Awards 2019 'Best Learning, Development and Training' Category.

The presentation will take place on Friday 4th October at Energus, Workington - wish us luck! 

We have a number of places available on upcoming SAGE & THYME Communication Skills Training:

Tuesday 10th September 2019

9.30am - 12.30pm

Classroom 3, Post Graduate Education Centre, West Cumberland Hospital, Homewood Road, Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 8JG

SAGE & THYME Communication Skills Training is a Level 1, half day training course relevant for all staff engaged in face-to-face communication.

This 3 hour workshop is run by 3 facilitators and uses a mix of small group work, lectures and rehearsals. The knowledge and skills learned in this course are fundamental to most roles in the NHS and other care organisations.

The SAGE & THYME model is suitable for talking to anyone: the transferable skills gained by attending this workshop can be applied to any situation where individuals may be emotional, distressed or concerned. The workshop teaches clinical and non-clinical staff at all levels, evidence-based communication skills to provide person-centred support to someone with emotional concerns whilst providing basic psychological support.  


Delegate Quotes:

“Excellent, great pace and content, useful and practical. Looking forward to putting into practice.” 

“Thought provoking and empowering.”

“I have the confidence to get into and out of difficult, emotional discussions.”

96% of delegates said it would influence their practice

98% of delegates would recommend the training


Book your place at: 

By Amy Aitken, Senior Administrator | MBTI & Insights Practitioner | Coach with CLIC

Knowing where to start with your goals can be a real challenge – you have identified what you ultimately want to achieve, and you might have some ideas about action to take, but do you truly know and understand all the forces that are at play in your current situation? It’s only by recognising the things that keep a situation as it is, that maintain the ‘status quo’, we can begin to take the relevant, necessary action to change our behaviour.

I wanted to share a tool with you which I have found particularly useful in this area, both for myself personally, and when working with coaching clients… 

Developed by American-German psychologist Kurt Lewin, Force Field Analysis is a technique which enables you to consider all of the factors that may help you in achieving your goal, as well as the factors that might hinder you. It’s a straightforward process that’s easy enough to do on your own – the real trick is being completely honest with yourself! By doing this, you can begin to identify strengths, blindspots, advantages, fresh perspectives, and establish feasibility and overall commitment to your goal.


The technique:

  • First, draw a line down the middle of the page to represent your goal. In the below example, this is ‘By the end of 2019, I will be practicing yoga at least 3 hours per week, every week’ (notice how the goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Bound – SMART)
  • Next, write ‘Hindering Forces’ above the left-hand column, and ‘Helping Forces’ above the right-hand column
  • Under each column, begin to list the factors that either help or hinder achievement of your goal. Think about things within your control (e.g. yourself), outside of you control (e.g. other people), and your wider environment (e.g. your organisation)
  • When you think you’ve finished listing, ask yourself again: ‘Have I captured everything?’
  • Assign arrows to each of the forces listed, making their size relative to the power they have


In the above, you can see that the hindering forces are greater than the helping forces, so some real commitment and effort will be needed in order to achieve the goal.


  • Now take some time to reflect on what you’ve written. Think about which of the forces can be increased, decreased, or perhaps even completely removed – challenge yourself! In relation to the example, a family planner was introduced to diminish the impact of a busy schedule, the fact that yoga classes don’t run every week, and to encourage motivation


Whilst a personal example has been used here, this tool can be applied to many, many different situations. Happy Force Field Analysing everyone!

Looking for a fantastic free leadership development programme you can study in your own time and at your own pace? Take a look at the NHS Leadership Academy's Edward Jenner programme.

The programme can be used as evidence of hours of participatory learning as it encourages nurses to put their learning into practice, reflect and discuss this online. In addition to this, after completing the Edward Jenner programme nurses and midwives will receive an Academy-recognised qualification and certificate.