THE BMW plant in Oxford has been giving some tips to Horton General Hospital on how to improve efficiency.

Dr Steven Webster-Edge, a consultant at the Banbury hospital, and his trainees visited the plant of the German car manufacturer to find out more about 'lean methodology.'

Developed in the car industry in the 1950s and 60s, lean is seen as a way of creating more value for customers with fewer resources.

It is thought that, in a medical setting, lean can be applied to ensure value for patients by reducing waste and waiting times. It emphasises patients’ needs, employee involvement and continuous improvement.

Dr Webster-Edge first heard about the method as a trainee at the John Radcliffe hospital 12 years ago.

He said: “I've been carrying out multiple lean projects with varying success, such as colour coding drug trays and organising drug cupboards into drug categories to reduce drug errors.

“Our visit focused on BMW’s organisational structure, introduction of innovation, efficiency, communication, and safety.

“They gave us a brilliant presentation on their methods and then a tour of some of their innovations and ongoing experiments. It was a real eye opener.”

The doctor has invited BMW to repay the visit and see the projects he is working on.