Trust Innovation Group

The Trust Innovation Group (TIG) is our in-house consultancy service helping people and organisations develop in order to continuously improve the quality of the services they provide. We draw upon the experience gained as founding members of the North East Transformation System (NETS) since 2007, and on the expertise of the many clinical and corporate services in our Trust.

Innovation is at the heart of the NHS.  As one of only five mental health trusts in the country to have received a CQC Outstanding rating twice, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) is at the leading edge of this approach in England.

Our Trust Innovation Group offers a wealth of specialist expertise and experience to influence, support and manage transformational change at a regional, national and international level.  Our multi-disciplinary team supports other agencies to develop more efficient and effective approaches to clinical and service delivery.  We specialise in providing bespoke services incorporating consultancy, change support and training packages in a range of clinical domains.

The team has significant experience in delivering transformation both within our Trust and for external clients, from NHS providers and commissioners to charities and the independent sector.

The Trust Innovation Group works predominantly with mental health organisations, but its services are potentially applicable to any health sector in the UK or abroad.


How we can help you

The Trust Innovation Group can help to bring a renewed focus and a new perspective to your organisation.

We offer a consultancy service that draws on experience and transformational expertise which includes care pathway improvement and innovation, estate design, IT as well as training in all these areas.

Our service has often been used by other organisations to review and analyse current service provision in all its aspects, which includes data analysis and collection where needed, discussions with staff and all partners and, most importantly, those who use the services and their families and carers.

We can work with your organisation to develop new models of care, including corporate services, to enable an improvement strategy to be put in place. We support the development of these strategies and can offer Board development sessions and a wide spectrum of training.

Our staff, consultants and clinicians have substantial and significant experience in designing and delivering large scale change programmes across the NHS and wider health and social system.

Our specific approach is customised to each and every one of our clients.


The team

The Trust Innovation Group has a core team of highly experienced individuals, based at St Nicholas Hospital in Newcastle.  The team can also draw on the expertise of a network of national and international experts in mental health from CNTW and other NHS Trusts.

The team’s professional project management qualifications include Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, PRINCE2, MSP and multiple certifications in improvement methodologies.

Click here to access our team biographies page with more information about our team’s experience and qualifications.


Our current and previous work

Our current and previous work includes the following projects and clients:


  1. A single point of access

In 2011, our Trust took action in response to concerns that our crisis telephone line was being saturated by calls.  At peak demand times, callers could wait hours for a return call from a clinician.

Our Trust Innovation Group worked with staff across the Trust to develop a new service model whereby all referrals are made to a single centre via a single telephone number, where they are immediately triaged and managed by appropriately qualified staff.

This new ‘front door to CNTW’ is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide the right advice, information and support at the right time.  The service takes in all requests for help for both urgent and non-urgent referrals, as well as providing advice to service users, their families, carers and partner agencies.


  1. Kick-starting change at Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Southern Health provides community health, specialist mental health and learning disability services for people across the south of England, employing around 6,000 staff who work from over 200 sites.

Southern Health engaged NTW’s Trust Innovation Group to analyse their current service provision and help them to design a new service model across the organisation with a wide-ranging transformation and quality improvement programme launched in April 2018.


  1. Valued care in mental health: Improving for excellence

In 2017, national body NHS Improvement (NHSI) started work on a national model to guide the continuous improvement of mental health services, drawing on the experience and skill within the mental health sector.

NHS Improvement engaged CNTW as its strategic partner in this endeavour because of this Trust’s outstanding record of care delivery stemming from this our ongoing system-wide improvement programme led by the Trust Innovation Group.

Members of Trust Innovation Group worked closely with NHSI to produce the finished document “Valued care in mental health: Improving for excellence”.  This practical resource offers experience from those that have travelled the journey already to support and encourage other mental health trusts or any healthcare provider who wish to improve their services.

You can read the full report on NHS Improvement’s website here.

The project is ongoing and is refreshed frequently by NHSI to provide a continuously renewed source of examples of service transformation and innovation.


  1. International collaborative partnership on mental health service provision

In 2019 CNTW launched a collaborative partnership with Cadabams Group in Bangalore, one of India’s largest providers of mental health services.

The partnership is managed by the Trust Innovation Group and will see our Trust support the Cadabams Group on the development of new services and also work on monitoring and reporting systems, so that both organisations can effectively evaluate the benefits of working together.

The collaboration aims to identify ways in which NTW and Cadabams Group can jointly develop the quality of healthcare provision in areas including health system improvement, mental health professional education and training, and developing pathways of care across communities and hospitals.


  1. Leicestershire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Trust Innovation Group has supported Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust since 2017 in the development of their transformation approach across the organisation.

Our work included rolling out ‘train the trainer’ quality improvement tools and techniques, and coaching staff at the Trust to undertake an in-depth analysis of the current state of their services.

It has and continues to be a real pleasure to work with Trust Innovation over the last few years. To have a team that have worked through the full cycle of big transformation is rare and extremely valuable. They have been generous with their knowledgeable, experience and tools and an invaluable source of coaching on a long, hard but rewarding journey. Thank you.

John EdwardsAssociate Director for Transformation, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust


  1. Lancashire and South Cumbria system

Following a request from the ICS in Lancashire and South Cumbria for independent review of urgent mental health pathways in 2018, Trust Innovation engaged with stakeholders from across the system to build a complex picture of the challenges within. The positive relationships we formed with the lead provider, LSCFT, led to our team delivering ongoing support to the Trust in their creation of a transformation approach which spans all areas of the organisation, from Board to floor.


Contact Trust Innovation Group

To speak to a member of the Trust Innovation Group:

Email [email protected] or call 0191 2467211 (or +44 191 2467211 if calling from outside the United Kingdom).

The Trust Innovation Group’s offices are open from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.  Outside of these hours, please leave a message and one of the team will call you back as soon as possible.

The team’s full postal address is:

Trust Innovation Office
Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
St Nicholas Hospital
Jubilee Road
Newcastle upon Tyne