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A proven approach to quality management

This issue of ImpAct features case studies from Salford and South Tees. Both chose to use the EFQM Excellence Model, developed by European Foundation for Quality Management between 1988 and 1991 to provide a structure for their work. The model offers a way of looking at the whole of an organisation's activities (Figure). It is not only about performance and outputs - but also about internal processes and the use of resources. All the organisations involved have found it a helpful way to manage the work.


Application of the model's assessment process ensures that an organisation can see where it is performing well and where it is performing poorly. This health check can spot important areas for improvement and provide a baseline for a cycle of continuous improvement starting with clearly defined results required by patients and clinicians. Once the results are agreed the most effective approaches can be designed and resources deployed. The effectiveness of the approaches chosen can then assessed and reviewed.

Since the model looks at both the results achieved and the processes that produce them, it can identify good practice and offer predictions of performance. Extensive use of the model by a variety of public organisations has shown that it is fully applicable to the public sector.

As part of the Modernising Government initiative, the Cabinet Office has call off contracts with leading providers of EFQM Excellence Model services. These provide reduced rate training and consultancy for all public sector organisations, including those in the health service, wishing to use this model. A public sector database, operated by the Civil Service College, can store the results of EFQM Excellence Model assessments on a confidential basis. This information in summary form can be used to help organisations compare (or benchmark) their performance with others.

For more information contact

Paul Robinson
Cabinet Office
Effective Performance Division
Horse Guards Road
London SW1P 3AL
Telephone 0171 270 1951

Mr Michael Perides
British Quality Foundation
32-34 Great Peter Street
London SW1P 2QX
Telephone 0171 654 5040

The European Foundation for Quality Management has a website at that is well worth a visit. It has information on the Foundation, and especially its publication list, which is extensive, relevant, and inexpensive. It also has much additional information on the model.


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