About Me

Hello, my name is Joy Furnival

I am an manufacturing systems engineer (sometimes also called a production engineer, a systems engineer/systems thinker, an improvement engineer, a quality engineer, or industrial engineer or even in Europe, a management engineer), with over 25 years experience. My undergraduate Master of Engineering degree included some seminars on newfangled Japanese manufacturing methods and TQM, or what we might now call Kaizen or Lean or Quality Improvement (QI). I was hooked.

I have spent the last 15 years working to improve quality in the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK. This has included leading, in Liverpool, some of the pilot Lean work in the NHS, which led to the development of ‘The Productive Ward’. For five years, I led the first experiment of full organisational rollout of Lean healthcare in the NHS, in Bolton, through the Bolton Improving Care System (BICS), delivering best possible care for patients. I have also led improvement work nationally across England and North Wales in the NHS Blood and Transplant service which contributed to reduced cost per unit and reduced defects, reducing costs for hospitals and allowing these savings to be re-invested in patient care. Following my thesis I worked a little in academia in senior leadership development and nationally at NHS Improvement/NHS England leading development programmes about improvement for NHS boards and executives. I also was the national site lead for the Vital Signs Lean programme at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust. I am proud to say that I now lead the regulatory and improvement programme at the North West Ambulance Service.

Before healthcare, I worked in the highly regulated and high risk petrochemicals, chemicals and life sciences industry globally (Europe, US and Asia), supporting teams to improve, in much the same way that we do in healthcare. I completed my Masters in Engineering Science (Systems and Management) at St Aidan’s College at the University of Durham. I also hold a Masters in Leadership (Quality improvement) from Ashridge Business School (now Hult) and a PhD in Business and Management from the University of Manchester. My PhD was supervised by Professor Kieran Walshe and Professor Ruth Boaden. My qualitative research examined how improvement capability is conceptualised by regulatory agencies and scrutiny bodies in healthcare in the UK and takes a dynamic capabilities theoretical perspective. I have worked as a Senior Lecturer in Healthcare Leadership, teaching on NHS programmes including the NHS Leadership Academy flagship ‘Anderson’ programme (MSc Healthcare Leadership) and on post-graduate leadership programmes for Clinical Scientists. I remain an Honorary Lecturer with the University of Manchester. I was a member of a research team at the University of Manchester, focusing on the societal recovery from COVID-19 and community resilience. If you want to find out more about my academic work and publications, please click here: https://tinyurl.com/y949wser

I have also worked at a multi-academy schools Trust board member for a group of schools in Bolton where I live, and I’m a mother of two.

I am a Health Foundation Fellow (Generation Q) and Improvement Science PhD alumni, as well as being a member of the Q community. I am a Chartered Engineer, IOSH trained, I am professionally registered with the Engineering Council and I am a member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology.

The work I have been privileged to be involved in has led to many quality improvements for patients and stakeholders including reduced mortality, reduced hospital length of stay, reduced harm (through falls and infections) and improved patient experience using co-design approaches. Some improvement work, also didn’t ‘work’, for which I am grateful for the learning experiences. I am very interested in healthcare quality improvement and believe that all staff and patients in all parts of the healthcare system should have a voice and the time and skills to help improve care for all.

I use this blog to practice writing and communicating about healthcare quality, improvement practice and lean healthcare. I might write a load of rubbish, and I welcome constructive feedback.

This blog is personal, it represents my views, and does not represent the views of my employer.

© Joy Furnival and ‘Healthcare Quality Improvement’, 2013-2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Joy Furnival and the ‘Healthcare Quality Improvement’ blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s