The Royal Marsden Hospital

The challenge

The Royal Marsden was looking to improve the experience of patients attending their chemotherapy day care facility. The challenge was that they already delivered a good service, and this was about achieving and sustaining real excellence. Key to this was to get a comprehensive picture of what patients currently experienced and where the opportunities to improve were. We needed to judge the current situation against the very best, and so it was necessary when engaging patients to find a way of comparing what it was currently like against what the optimum end-to-end experience would be.

It was also a challenge to get clarity on where all of the staff involved in this unit impacted on this experience, and to establish an understanding of the interdependencies.

The result

The following results emerged from this work:

  • A clear and widely understood picture of what the optimum patient experience would look like and how each member of staff from the various disciplines involved could contribute
  • A series of highly creative solutions to enhancing the existing care experience such that people in a really challenging situation could be made to feel more comfortable and safe
  • An increased ability to personalise the services offered to take into account the unique situation of each patient attending the facility
  • An internal group of staff who formed a ‘continuous improvement’ group who would continue to explore bold and imaginative ways of enhancing the patient experience

What made it successful

  • Inspiring through the use of external insight we introduced examples of excellence in customer service from outside the health sector, including from the Ritz Carlton hotels. This was vital in resetting people’s aspirations on the ultimate experience the Royal Marsden should be aiming for
  • Engaging through customer journey mapping – we took a representative group of staff and undertook a series of customer journey mapping sessions where we were able to really bring to life what their current experience was like. We enabled them to get into the shoes of their patients and through this really understand how they think and feel at each stage of the customer journey
  • Being bold in the solutions that emerged – we created the environment and process where radical and bold ideas could emerge. The concept of having patients developing new skills or having beauty treatments at the same time as having Chemotherapy sessions transformed what the experience could be like for a patient
  • Building capability within an internal customer excellence group – we established a highly motivated and skilled group of staff that would continue to push the boundaries of what the patient experience could and should be
We chose well with Ignite. They really understand innovation and change and are a genuine partner in our journey to deliver world class patient service in our day care centres

Development Director, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust