Creating bespoke improvement programmes

A scalable Improvement Programme for General Practice: Creating the General Practice Improvement Programme (GPIP).

The Assignment

We were asked by our client to produce an improvement programme for General Practice. The purpose of this work was to provide them with a scalable process for their expert consultants to support General Practice and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) clients.

We were asked to create the concept, test it, produce outputs and also train the team. We were also asked to work with the client team to build on our collective learning from national improvement programmes created at the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement; programmes such as Productive Ward, Productive Community Services, Productive General Practice and the Care Homes programme.

Our improvement design process

We worked with our client and engaged with a number of GPs and CCGs to reframe and understand the pressures that they face. We used Lean thinking to ensure the programme would not only provide strong benefits but also be accessible, manageable and transferable for practices.

Once improvement techniques were identified they were tested using the Deming cycle (PDSA). Processes were created, meaning that practices could get the maximum benefit in the shortest amount of time.

Using our wdid improvement resource design model, we created bespoke workbooks to ensure maximum knowledge transfer and world class resources for practices.


  • Our client was thrilled with the fast delivery of such a complex and comprehensive programme. It gave them a new improvement offer to CCGs and practices.
  • Fast, flexible improvement. Typical practice level improvements include:
    • 43% reduction in phone call failure demand
    • 28% increase in staff consistency of approach (admin staff)
    • 98% reduction in time taken to find out status of teams
    • £30,900 of nurse capacity freed up
  • Context as well as interventions. The programme featured practice level improvements and also processes to improve the context; such as practical federating workshops and communications support for CCGs.
  • High quality resources. We wrote and managed the production of five professionally designed workbooks, supporting website, introductory film and electronic resources to support the GPIP programme.
  • Quicker and better value. This programme was designed, tested and accompanying resources created in just five months. This is a 73% shorter time period than comparable programmes typically produced by national improvement organisations. It was also created at a cost that is 90% less than comparable sized programmes.
  • Spread and adoption. There are currently over 150 practices nationwide who have, or are currently benefiting from the programme.

We approached Nick & Liz from wdid because we were looking for support in developing a new product (improvement support programme). I had experience of working with both Liz and Nick previously and they helped to quickly identify & understand exactly what it was we were trying to achieve. We have tried to create things internally for over seven years but never really “got there”.

With wdid the results were amazing. Not only did we get there in a timely manner the results were something that we could never have achieved ourselves. The main difference was in how they got across the programme messages which we would have struggled to get across. Working with them was not only a pleasure it was also a fantastic outcome and I would highly recommend wdid to anyone that who is in need of programme design support.

UK Healthcare division manager in a leading management consultancy