Join Access QI

Recruitment to join cohort one of Access QI has now closed.  Recruitment to cohort two is due to start in June 2021.

Benefits of joining

By joining Access QI, planned care services will gain access to:

  • a QI toolkit tailored for improving access
  • a seven module training course to develop the skills to use the Access QI toolkit
  • project workshops to support the delivery of a QI project to improve waiting times in parallel to the training course
  • peer to peer learning from services in other NHS boards, and
  • support to write up and share their improvement project, for example, in a case study supported with data.

In addition to support provided to planned care services, Access QI will also offer:

  • QI coaches in NHS boards (such as ScIL alumni, SQSF alumni or Improvement Advisors) advanced QI training as a QI coach for improving access and the option of 1:1 coaching support to enable QI coaches to provide QI coaching to the planned care team, and
  • analysts in NHS boards with advanced training on QI data for access improvement and the option of 1:1 coaching support to enable them to provide data support to the planned care team.


Joining criteria

Planned care services are asked to meet five joining criteria to ensure they have the conditions for change to successfully deliver sustainable improvements in waiting times. They are:

Criteria 1: The service is a secondary planned care service that is part of NHSScotland. This can be an elective care or planned mental health service.

Criteria 2: The NHS board’s QI lead and lead for waiting times performance supports the service involvement in the programme.

Criteria 3: The NHS board identify an analyst and a local QI coach to support the planned care service. The QI coach could be an alumni of a QI course such as ScIL or SQSF or be a local improvement advisor. The QI coach and analyst would each need approximately 1 day a week to support the planned care service.

Criteria 4: The planned care service has the capacity to deliver a QI project to improve waiting times while part of the cohort. Planned care services already delivering improvement projects as part of other national programmes, such as the Bringing it Together programme from the Centre for Sustainable Delivery, are unlikely to have the capacity to commit to both programmes.

Criteria 5: The planned care service would create a core project team to lead the improvement project. This would include the Clinical lead, Service Manager and another member of the service, or another service that is part of the pathway with the capacity to work on the improvement project.

Elective care and planned mental health services are being prioritised for this cohort due to the impact COVID-19 has had on waiting lists. Planned care services are likely to involve primary care and community services in the improvement project as part of whole pathway working. Primary care and community services can partner with a secondary planned care services and become the third member of the core project team, for example, a GP who refers patients to the planned care service.


Selection process

Access QI would like to welcome as many planned care services to join the cohort as possible, however capacity constraints means the current cohort is limited to no more than 25 planned care teams.

If the cohort is oversubscribed, each board will be guaranteed at least one planned care service in the cohort. The remaining places will be distributed to planned care services based on when the completed form was received and level of demand per board. The outcome of who is joining the cohort will be confirmed by Wednesday 14 April 2021.

Unsuccessful planned care teams that meet the five criteria will be prioritised for joining the next cohort, with recruitment starting in June 2021.


More information

You can find detailed information about the programme, such as the programme content and keys dates, by downloading the Information pack for joining Access QI

You can also contact us at to ask questions about joining Access QI or to arrange time to speak to a member of the team about joining Access QI.