A new approach: The Productive Ward, facilitates removal of time wastage in a busy modern hospital. The lessons learnt from this system are potentially generic and can be applied to other departments, such as in the operating theatres. Inherent to this innovative approach are the 'lean' principles that are now spreading across many organisational settings. Womack et al (1990) set out the key steps to organising companies to deliver value to their customers. We now apply those principles and witness the value to patient care.