Quality Improvement Programme

The NHS is very familiar with change. However, there is a question as to whether these changes are the right changes. Quality Improvement, in terms of healthcare, is the process of systematic and continuous actions that lead to measurable improvement in healthcare services and the health status of targeted patient groups. Working in this way, there is an acceptance that it is not easy to come up with perfect ideas first time and by placing more emphasis on evaluating effectiveness and continually adapting and improving, we can develop a more robust model for change.

The Quality Improvement programme was designed to develop quality improvement expertise in Barnet. With the NHS England agenda of improving quality in primary care and reducing variability, it was acknowledged that QI is going to be increasingly essential in the future.

To support the development of quality improvement capacity and capability development in Barnet, Barnet Community Education and Practice Network (CEPN) commissioned Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust (CLCH) to develop and deliver a Quality Improvement training programme for Primary Care teams in Barnet. The programme is structured to provide participants with a blended approach of classroom learning and supervised application on a live project.

The Quality Improvement programme is running over a nine month period, with eight sessions (half days), from December 2017 to September 2018 with a mixture of improvement skills teaching (Learning sessions) and project work in teams. The first four sessions were closer together as theory skills developed and data collection processes were identified and data collected, prior to changes. As the PDSA (Plan Do Study Act) cycles were completed and continued, the sessions spaced out to approximately two monthly.

An email invitation was sent out to GP who were newly qualified in the last five years, or nurses working in primary care for five years, practice managers and community pharmacists.

Teams were organised in areas between North, West and South Barnet to develop good working relationships with others working locally, and have a balance between clinicians and non-clinicians. The projects were chosen by the teams.

Work outside the sessions would include data gathering, liaising with potential stakeholders and evaluating and modifying changes. The projects are being facilitated by using the LIFEQI platform, which allows the cross – sharing of project information and ideas across teams and all members on the platform from around the country.

The programme launched on the 7th December 2017 with 12 participants. An additional participant joined the programme after the initial launch. Participants included 3 GPs, 8 practice managers, 1 pharmacist and 1 nurse.

If you would like to find out more about this programme please contact Mandy Claret at barnet.cepn@nhs.net