It is important not to waste time reinventing solutions. Undertaking a literature search, looking at systematic reviews of evidence, topic scoping or accessing web sites for examples of other people’s work can show you what’s possible and give you ideas of how to get started.


This may seem like a lot of effort, particularly if you and your team are excited about making a change. However, taking the time to look at what has (and hasn’t) worked well elsewhere can give you some great ideas and save a lot of time in the long run.

If you’re unsure how to undertake a literature review, check if your organisation has access to a clinical library and staff who may be able to help you. You can also get access to online resources such as Athens which will give you access to thousands of online articles and reviews.

Benchmarking is a term describing the process of assessing how your team or systems compares to others, either locally, nationally or across the world. The process was developed by Xerox with the intention that you find out who is ‘best in class’ and actively learn from best practice. It can help a team articulate a case for change and make contact with other teams across the UK to learn about their approach. It can also help to motivate your team to improve, as you have evidence of what ‘good’ looks like.