Quality Improvement Training in the NHS – reflecting upon the journey


Mastery of quality and patient safety sciences and practices should be part of initial preparation and lifelong education of all health care professionals, including managers and executives.” Don Berwick (A Promise to learn – a commitment to act, 2013)

So how far have we moved along this journey?

In the recent difficult financial climate, many organisations across the NHS have been faced with the challenging task of reducing or dissolving their service improvement staff and teams.

Organisations are now beginning to come together in order to collaborate and explore and test together new ways of developing, delivering and supporting quality improvement training. Two examples of different approaches include NHSIQ Improvement FUNdamentals MOOC (Massive Open On-line Course)  and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Microsystem Coaching Academy

In Yorkshire and Humber our Improvement Academy (part of the Y&H AHSN) has been instrumental in bringing key partner organisations together to explore, develop and test a range of quality improvement training which aims to address identified gaps and needs. Development of the regional Quality Improvement Training Advisory Group membership includes key senior representatives from a range of organisations and has been a successful enabler to this work.

This month we are excited to launch our Bronze entry level Quality Improvement training. Our aim for this Bronze level is to provide free on-line entry level Quality Improvement training for everyone who works in health and social care across Yorkshire and Humber. More information about the training can be found here on our website, and the training is available here.

Bronze training provides foundation entry knowledge to our already established advanced face to face workshops for ‘Silver training for Individuals’ and ‘Silver training for Teams’.

We are now also testing a Gold level training ‘Train the Trainer’ for improvement leaders to deliver and support the silver training content. We continue to deliver other popular workshop training events such as ‘Understanding and Reducing Variation in Healthcare’, ‘Achieving Behaviour Change for Patient Safety’ and ‘The Science of Improvement’.

Although progress has been made, there is still far to go in the journey. Changing the culture to one where improvement becomes part of the day job instead of additional activity is one of the common shared challenges in this work. There is more to learn, for example, how can we best support the translation of quality improvement skills and knowledge into the workplace? 

We look forward to exploring how we can collectively develop a shared learning and understanding from all the great work across Quality Improvement training and most importantly how can we best learn from those who experience our services.