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About NETS & Lean

What is the North East Transformation System?

The North East Transformation System (NETS) is a powerful model for organisational change. Within its simple framework of vision, compact and method, it is comprised of transformation and change techniques from international exemplars in industry as well as healthcare.

Components of the NETS model for change

Vision – A clear, and shared, vision or aim of what we’re setting out to achieve.

Compact – To facilitate the people side of change and to help make new behaviours stick. Compacts are agreements which provide a common understanding of expectations between staff and the organisation.

Method – Tools and concepts to help us make improvements and achieve our aim. The core NETS method is a version of lean production adapted for healthcare.

Background and history to the development of the NETS

The NETS was developed from a collaborative programme established by the NHS in the North East of England to learn and introduce Lean thinking as a management and quality improvement method. Set up by the former North East Strategic Health Authority in 2006, the programme brought together a number of North East health care organisations to learn about Lean from Virginia Mason Medical Centre (VMMC). Based in Seattle USA, VMMC is an integrated medical centre that has employed Lean principles to dramatically improve the quality and safety of the healthcare services they provide. One of the first to adopt such techniques, VMMC is now a world leader in the application of Lean techniques to health care. Using the learning and knowledge transfer received from VMMC, the North East NHS developed locally its common approach to lean in healthcare known as the North East Transformation Systems (NETS).

The NETS Team

Following the dis-establishing of the regional Strategic Health Authority, a team was established to continue to support the development and deployment of the NETS approach. NETS is now a collaboration between Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust and Tee’s Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, the NETS team facilitates a collaborative approach to provide mutual support and accelerate learning.



The NETS team works closely with a number of partner members who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to adopting and implementing the NETS methodology.

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