Case Study: East London NHS 

This content is part of the Vision for the Public Sector Zone 

East London Foundation Trust from patient deaths to ‘outstanding experience’ in six years.


This was the Guardian headline in 2011 after a series of deaths on one ward in Tower Hamlets, a mental health unit run by East London Foundation Trust. One of the deaths was a homicide. Despite already being classed as ‘excellent’ by the NHSLA level 2 health check in 2008, it was clear that there was a gap between board and ward which spurned the executive team to take a fresh look at what was needed to focus on culture, staff, engagement and improvement.


  1. Use executive team to learn from front line staff, remove barriers and challenge practice;
  2. Systematically share and record the data that is collected and ensure that the Board have sight on this data;
  3. Improve the quality of the largest staff group through values based recruitment, targeted development programmes and working with local universities;
  4. Enable open access to all staff and partners to learn about improvement methodologies level;
  5. Support staff to find time and space for improvement work;
  6. Support involvement of service users and carers in improvement work.


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