Dr Alistair Connell

Ali qualified as a doctor in 2010. After completing his Core Medical Training in August 2014, he was appointed Clinical Fellow at the UCL Institute for Human Health and Performance, joining a project using large datasets to predict patient decline in hospital. Under the supervision of Prof Hugh Montgomery and Prof Rosalind Raine, he has now started a PhD examining the effects of the implementation of a digitally-enabled care pathway for patients with Acute Kidney Injury. His clinical interests include nephrology and critical care.

Ryan Palmer

Ryan is a Health Foundation Improvement Science PhD Student  working under the primary supervision of Prof. Martin Utley. Ryan’s project has the working title “Operational Research towards outcome driven community health services” and will involve working alongside the North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT) within the context of their community healthcare services.

iQUASER workshop for NHS Trust Boards

Helping NHS Trusts develop their quality strategies

Quality and quality improvement are now recognised as imperative for all NHS organisations in England. A recent workshop brought together leaders of six NHS Trusts to develop their organisation-wide quality improvement strategies.

QUASER (Quality and Safety in European Union Hospitals) is a research-based tool senior hospital leadership teams can use to identify the strengths and possible weaknesses in their organisation’s quality and safety improvement efforts, and what they need to do to improve. The QUASER Guide was the result of a three year project in 5 European countries which studied organisational and cultural factors influencing quality improvement (QI). The intervention provides suggested strategies for how Trusts could be organised better in order to deliver high quality and safe services.

Implementing QUASER in the UK 

The QUASER intervention is being implemented in the UK by one of NIHR CLAHRC North Thames’ industry partners, the Foresight Centre for Governance within GE Healthcare Finnamore. Foresight works with public services to develop and improve leadership and Board-level effectiveness. It is helping Boards in six NHS Trusts develop their organisation-wide QI strategies through QUASER.

Evaluating the intervention

In parallel to this work the CLAHRC is conducting an evaluation of this intervention to assess and understand its impact within the six Trusts taking part. As one of the projects under our Innovations in systems and models of health and health care research theme researchers will use quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the total costs & benefits of the different interventions.

The iQUASER Workshop

A workshop in early November was run by the Foresight Centre and offered the chance for the six participating Trust Boards to develop their organisation-wide quality improvement strategies. The one-day workshop brought together all participating NHS trusts. 23 board level executives and non-executives came together with the overriding aim to develop a collective understanding of the QUASER Guide, learn about the evidence which underpins it and develop a clear sense of the elements of an effective quality improvement strategy.

Prior to the event, senior leaders from the Trusts received analysis of their current QI strategic position, having completed the QUASER guide self-assessment tool. Trusts were able to review, reflect and discuss their results both in terms of areas of strength and those that may require further focus.

In the afternoon the board level executives convened to participate in the first of three ‘action learning sets’ aimed at creating a supportive environment for participating organisations to draw on their collective experience and wisdom of those present.

Next steps – By the close of the day the participants arrived at specific goals or commitments to take their quality improvement strategies and interventions forward. The group will reconvene for the second of three action learning sets in January.

Background to the iQUASER project  – the quality improvement agenda in the NHS

The Francis Report reinforced the need for effective quality improvement strategies within NHS Trusts. All NHS organisation in England are being mandated to provide care that is clinically effective, safe and provides as positive an experience for patients as possible. Successful improvement programmes are vital for achieving this so this programme is particularly timely.

For more information about the QUASER project and the Guide see: The QUASER project

CLAHRC widens access to training by switching learning online

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

How can training in research methods for front line NHS and public health staff be made more accessible and convenient? How do you translate a face-to-face course to an online learning resource?

Dr Helen Barratt (Deputy Director of the CLAHRC Academy) shared her experience of taking a successful face-to-face course and transforming it fully online and this work has been featured in a case study by the UCL Life Learning team entitled Translating a face-to-face course online

Our North Thames geography, plus work and time pressures faced by staff on the front-line of health and health care meant that not everyone interested in our popular Introduction to Evaluation course could access our regular programme held in Central London.

In the case study Dr Barratt discusses the unique challenges of preparing and delivering online learning using digital platforms and educational tools, and provides handy tips for educators approaching similar work.