What is Q?

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Q’s mission is to foster continuous and sustainable improvement in health and care. We’re creating opportunities for people to come together as an improvement community – sharing ideas, enhancing skills and collaborating to make health and care better.

Q is led in Scotland by Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s Improvement Hub (ihub) and NHS Education for Scotland (NES) in partnership with the Health Foundation. Throughout the year the partnership offers a variety of activities and opportunities that will enable people to connect, exchange, collaborate and learn.

This is an exciting time for Q in Scotland as we begin to build on our previous pilot and welcome new members into our Scottish cohort. 

Q Testimonials:

 I got into quality improvement as a foundation doctor and have been passionate about developing projects and introducing more colleagues to the process ever since. I love celebrating other people’s quality improvement ideas, and I am excited by the prospect of learning from a larger community and discovering what is possible through Q.

Since joining Q Scotland in June, I have been fortunate enough that my work commitment has allowed me to attend two Q events so far, the most recent one being the Q visit to Prostate Cancer UK to learn about appreciative inquiry. I have enjoyed meeting others involved with the Q community at different levels and hearing about its development, as well as taking some new ideas back to try at my workplace.

I am looking forward to linking up with like-minded people and forming networks to allow more people to experience the benefits of quality improvement. I can’t wait to learn new ways to improve how we do improvement in healthcare together.”

Joy Ngai, ST in General Surgery, NHS Grampian

“I’ve found Q has offered me opportunities to renew old and create new connections across the UK. This has been both energising (sometimes a needed boost to resilience!) and often very practical for the day-to-day job. The UK flavour is brilliant but it has also given us an opportunity within Scotland’s health and social care sectors to strengthen connections amongst folk passionate about improvement.”

Heather Shearer, Board and Partnerships QI Development Lead, Scotland

"When working on quality improvement, particularly if you are leading a project, it can be difficult to find people to ask for advice, or to share ideas with. The Q Initiative gives you ready access to people working on the same sorts of issues, in many different settings. I often e-mail or call people I have met through Q to ask their opinion or advice. Even talking issues over with people who have personal experience of similar situations can help to get your own thoughts in order, and let you see where to go next. Q provides a framework for this sort of contact, and I have found it very useful."

Dr Cameron Stark, Consultant in Public Health Medicine (Health Services), NHS HIghland

"As an Improvement Lead in my organisation, participation in Q has been important for me professionally and personally. Professionally, Q has enabled me to meet in person and network with more people who are deeply involved in Quality Improvement than at any other time in my career to date. The events themselves have felt different; each time I’ve attended a UK event, in addition to hearing high quality speakers, there has been a range of methods and approaches that the central team have used to great effect to get me thinking creatively about how to improve care, and networking with others in connected roles more effectively. I have used a number of these in my own practice since. The UK events have provided a useful foundation for going on to make connections with people individually, either in person or virtually. I’ve used these opportunities to develop my skills and thinking, and to share with others my thinking and actions around the provision of improvement support. My practice has changed as a result of Q. Personally, Q has been important for my resilience. Opportunities to share my frustrations with others who understand, to seek ideas and to get encouragement from colleagues in a completely non-judgemental way has re-energised my approach to work. So my organisation has benefitted, and Q has been and continues to be one of the most helpful things I’ve participated in."

Paul Arbuckle, Service Improvement Lead, NHS Tayside

"The Q Initiative has provided me with a rare opportunity to network with people from a variety of sectors, perspectives and experiences. What we have in common is our dedication to Quality Improvement and although our definitions and ideas around this vary, this difference only strengthens our discussions.

The initial programme provided useful skills, inspiration, tools, and new connections whilst the ongoing ‘Q Scotland’ network provides an invaluable safe space to share our concerns, challenges, and successes as we pursue Quality Improvement in our different settings. I would highly recommend."

Mark Kelvin, ‎Programme Director (Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland)

"I was honoured to be asked  if I would like to join Q by VHS  as a third sector member of the initiative. I have found being a member of Q really rewarding, I have extended my network significantly of people involved with quality improvement from whom the organisation I work for has learned a lot, we were also delighted to be asked to share our expertise, which we were pleased to do. Being part of Q is meeting with other likeminded individuals, who recognise there are challenges within the health care system and improvements need to be made, but rather than focus on what is wrong, they work to look at how it can be better, sharing and supporting each other in knowledge, skills, opportunities for learning and also importantly knowing there are others out there who also want to make a difference and are there for each other. It is great also to be part of the QI Hub in Scotland as well as connecting with colleagues across the UK, I am shortly starting a hub with colleagues in Q looking at staff wellbeing and quality improvement, if you would like to know more please drop me an e-mail hilda@cope-scotland.org"

Hilda Campbell, CEO, COPE Scotland

Joining Q

There is no membership fee or specific time commitment – members have the flexibility to commit and participate in ways that fit with their lives and their improvement work. It is not a taught programme, but a network of support for those already knowledgeable in and undertaking improvement work.

How do I apply?

In June 2017 116 people across Scotland joined Q following successful applications to become members.  The next window to apply will be in Spring 2018. Be the first to know when we are open to new applications by registering your interest using this form.

Current Q Members

Q members can access the Q directory and a range of resources through The Health Foundation’s Q website - https://q.health.org.uk/. You can also register for Q Labs, Q visits and the many other activities on offer.

The ihub co-ordinates and organises events for Q members in Scotland, if you have any questions, suggestions or would like to share your learning or feedback on any aspect of Q then please get in touch: hcis.qscotland@nhs.net.

Q website links

Visit q.health.org.uk to find out more.

Q Video

Co-designing Q from The Health Foundation on Vimeo.

Q Twitter

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