Journal Article

Lean Six-Sigma: The Means to Healing an Ailing NHS?


Purpose. This paper examines England’s Accident and Emergency (A&E) arm of the National Health Service (NHS). It considers the positive impact that Lean has had and Six-Sigma can have in A&E departments to improve the quality and reliability of the service offered, in an area that is facing performance challenges. Design/methodology/approach. Independent variables average monthly temperature data (degrees Celsius) obtained from the Met Office and weekly A&E data, patient volume is analysed alongside the dependent variable, the percentage of patients seen in four hours or less. Findings. The model produced a robust positive impact when Lean Six-Sigma is adopted, increasing the likelihood of A&E dependents meeting their performance objective to see and treat patients in four hours or less. Research limitations/implications. Further variables such as staffing levels, A&E admission type should be considered in future studies. Additionally, it would add further clarity to analyse hospitals and trusts individually, to gauge which are struggling. Practical implications. Should the NHS further its understanding and adoption of Lean Six-Sigma, it is believed this could have significant improvements in productivity, patient care and cost reduction. Social implications. Productivity improvements will allow the NHS to do more with an equal amount of funding, therefore improving capacity and patient care. Originality/value. Through observing A&E and its ability to treat patients in a timely fashion it is clear the NHS is struggling to meet it is performance objectives, the recommendation of Six-Sigma in A&E should improve the reliability and quality of care offered to patients.

Attached files


Bancroft, John
Saha, Krish
Li, Di
Lukacs, Gabor
Pierron, Xavier

Oxford Brookes departments

Oxford Brookes Business School\Oxford Brookes Business School\Department of Business and Management


Year of publication: 2018
Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-04-23

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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