Cumbria Production System (CPS) Strategy and Objectives

The clinical strategy and ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plan’ for West, North and East Cumbria assumes a massive increase in productivity by our staff and our systems (alongside real, cash releasing efficiency savings) and the Cumbria Production System is an important component of the management method to achieve these goals. (NB the scale of this change is unprecedented – the plan suggests a productivity and efficiency gain in activity that is equivalent to £90 million of cost, as judged by the normal tariffs, in 2017/18 – 2021/22. Or about £2million a month, every month for 4 years!)

The Cumbria Production System is also our management method to deliver continuous quality improvement.  It is a set of tools, techniques and facilitation processes to improve safety, experience and outcomes for the people who use our services

Our strategy therefore, is based upon the idea that continuous improvement in quality supports systems that are better, safer and more productive than current systems.

So, it is a partnership agreement, an organisational philosophy, a management system, a toolkit – a personal support system that is designed to:

  • enable productivity and efficiency gains in our systems of care
  • support for individuals, teams and organisations to achieve improvement and innovation across the whole health and social care partnership in west, north & east Cumbria.
  • give guidance to support improvement work and problem solving and resolve issues within and across the health and care partnership – including how to engage better with the public and with service users to ‘co-produce’ change


Building our improvement knowhow and engaging people in leading improvements

The ‘Cumbria Production System’ is in constant evolution but is firmly grounded in tried and tested tolls and techniques.  It was first developed by pooling all of the tools being used by the NHS and County Council for their improvement and business support functions – this included many familiar ‘lean’ tools, quality methods and so on that drew from:

  • the extensive evidence base of quality improvement in health and social care
  • the experience of others, including the work of the IHI, Kings Fund & Health Foundation, Virginia Mason Medical Centre, the North East Transformation System, Jonkoping Health and Social Care and many Department of Health & NHS supported initiatives (including the modernisation agency, the NHS institute, the NHS productive series, etc.)
  • wide consultation with local and national experts

The intention of having a locally owned ‘production system’ is drawn from evidence and guidance that suggests the importance of such local adaptation & ownership.  It provides a common language for improvement and productivity work across our partnership – shared competences for our workforce and a single system for managers to sponsor and lead.  In addition it:

  • helps staff to use and develop the knowledge and skills that they already have
  • gives help to learn, master and apply modern improvement methods
  • supports understanding of the evidence and existing good practice
  • supports partnership and co-production with the people who use our services

The system leadership team intend that the Cumbria Production System (CPS) should become the dominant management system for managers and leaders at every level to use to produce the necessary quality and productivity gains that our plans envisage.  This will require all managers to become proficient in improvement science using CPS and that they foster wide awareness of CPS amongst all staff.  The strategies to achieve this include:

  • ready access to training in CPS for everyone in the collaborative
  • mentoring, coaching and other developmental support to allow all managers to develop their skills
  • the regular use of ‘Rapid Process Improvement Workshops’ (which include training as well as improvement components for staff and managers)
  • the adoption of techniques (including learning from ‘Listening into Action’ programmes) to engage all staff in developing their improvement ideas