Implementation and evaluation of a guide for NHS boards to develop their quality improvement (QI) strategies (iQUASER)

The Francis Report reinforced the need for effective quality improvement strategies within NHS Trusts. The QUASER project, funded by the European Commission’s Framework Seven Programme, was a collaboration between five European countries (England, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Portugal). The QUASER project successfully produced a research-based guide, or dialogical tool, for senior hospital leaders to develop and implement QI strategies across their organisations, through systematically identifying the strengths and weaknesses of a hospital’s approach to quality improvement.

This project is testing the impact of implementing the QUASER guide with Trust boards within the NIHR CLAHRC North Thames region. The Guide is being implemented by Foresight Centre for Governance at GE Healthcare Finnamore, an organisational development consultancy through workshops and action learning sets. The evaluation of the implementation of the Guide uses quantitative and qualitative methods and includes a study of the total costs and benefits of the different interventions and resulting QI activities (a cost consequence analysis).

The results of this project will benefit patients by facilitating boards of NHS providers to develop their organisational-wide strategies to improve quality of care.

Principal investigator: Professor Naomi Fulop, University College London

Other project team members: Dr Lorelei Jones, University College London

Start date and duration: April 2014, three years

Partners and collaborators involved: UCL; Foresight Partnership; King’s College London; Imperial College London; UCLP; participating trusts from the region.

Project update:

Intervention – the implementation of the QUASER Guide has completed with Trust boards. This included the use of the QUASER guide to assess their current QI strategies, a facilitated workshop and three action learning sets. This was conducted over a 9 month period (Sept 2014 to May 2015)

Evaluation- the evaluation has completed its’ ‘before’ and ‘during’ phases of data collection including observational work, interviews and documentary review. The research team are now collecting data as part of the ‘after’ phase of the intervention including that of comparator and benchmarking trusts. This is planned to be completed in Summer 2016.