Additional programme information

Please find additional information about the programme below.  



Access QI is commissioned by Scottish Government through Professor Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director and Gordon Frame, Director of Scheduled Care Performance.

The Access QI's Governance group is chaired by John Harden, the Scottish Government's Deputy National Clinical Director and the governance group has representation from the Centre for Sustainable Delivery, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, NHS Education for Scotland and Scottish Government.


Partner organisations

Access QI is delivered through a partnership between Healthcare Improvement Scotland and NHS Education for Scotland.

The Scottish Access Collaborative and Modernising Patient Pathway Programme (MPPP) from the Centre of Sustainable Delivery are key partners in the delivery of the programme. Particularly around interventions that can reduce demand and increase activity and working with the MPPP Speciality Delivery Groups for ENT, Gynaecology and Urology.


Programme history

November 2019 - Testing and development: Access QI was originally commissioned to work with NHS Grampian, Lothian and Tayside to test how to use QI to improve waiting times. This phase of the programme was severally disrupted by COVID-19 and was placed on hold for six months. The programme restarted in August 2020 with NHS Grampian and NHS Tayside and delivered the Access QI Improving Planned Cara Pathways Toolkit and the NHS Tayside Remobilisation Guidance.  

March 2021- Piloting training programme and the toolkit: Developed a training and project support programme to pilot spreading the use of QI to sustainably improve waiting times. 22 elective care and mental health services joined the programme and despite waves of increased COVID-19 pressures, the programme continued from May 2021 with a planned end date of May 2022. 

February 2022- Improvement Collaborative: Access QI was re-commissioned to support the recovery of elective care services from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The programme adapted a Scottish Patient Safety Programme (SPSP) style breakthrough series collaborative to spread the use of quality improvement. The programme refined the focus to three key specialties: ENT, Gynaecology and Urology. These specialities were selected due to the large waiting lists and the risk of irreversible harm due to long waits. The current programme is due to end in February of 2024.


Evaluation and measures of success

The programme has a logic model to outline the theory of change and identify the evidence required to demonstrate the programme is delivering the expected impact.

The outcome measures for the collaborative are based on:

  • reducing outpatient, inpatient and day case demand
  • increasing outpatient, inpatient and day case activity, and
  • reducing number of people waiting for an outpatient appointment, inpatient care and day case.