The Health Foundation is an independent charity working to continuously improve the quality of heatlhcare in the UK

Quality Improvement Fellowships

In brief

We believe talented clinical leaders are needed to drive lasting improvements to healthcare. The UK health system needs people who can bring real improvement that ultimately leads to high quality patient care.

However, in a high-pressured environment within the NHS it can be difficult for leaders keen to work on quality improvement to have the time and space needed for reflection and research. The Health Foundation Quality Improvement Fellowships aim to bridge that gap, giving fellows the time and space to think deeply about how to improve the quality of healthcare, backed up by rigorous academic and practical learning.

The aim is that on their return to the UK, fellows will integrate their learning into processes and procedures at their employing organisation to improve service delivery. Fellows will also work to promote quality improvement nationally, championing quality and sharing what they have learnt with colleagues from across the health service.

Key facts

  • Each year we appoint up to five senior clinically-qualified NHS professionals with a track record of achievement in quality improvement and who want to develop this further.
  • Fellows of the Quality Improvement Fellowship programme become part of a community of Health Foundation Fellows, who share a common ambition to improve the quality of health services in the UK.
  • Fellows spend a fully-funded year at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
  • Fellows follow a personalised development programme and carry out research in a chosen area of healthcare improvement.
  • Fellows take up their places in July for approximately one year, relocating to the USA for the duration of their tenure.
  • Fellows receive an allowance of up to £25,000 to support travel, relocation, visa and US healthcare costs.
  • Applicants’ salary and benefits are covered by their employer during the fellowship. However, the Health Foundation covers the cost of employing replacement staff.
  • Fellows join the Health Foundation/IHI’s Fellows and Alumni Network – a network for mutual support and learning.
  • Applications for the 2013/14 Quality Improvement Fellowships programme are now closed.
I picked up a leaflet about the QI Fellowship on your stand at the NHS confederation conference and it directed me to this site to apply. Can you tell me when I will be able to access the application process on line for the 13/14 cohort.
Hi Yvonne

We will open for applications in mid-July and close in early October, so please check back between those dates. In addition, you may find it helpful to sign up for our newsletter as this will let you know when we have a programme open for application.

If you have any other queries please get in touch via our email address on

Do you require to be medically qualified or is a nursing background sufficient?
Hi Linda

A nursing background is sufficient to be eligible for this programme.

Can I come and visit you in London for an informal conversation, before submitting an application?
iIwork in Community health services for a London Teaching Hospital as a Nurse Manager. Do i qualify as i do not work in Quality Improvement Dept Strategically but in an Operational role
Dear Irene

We do not expect applicants to necessarily be in a quality improvement role, but would expect that they have experience of improving quality in their work and an interest and expertise in improvement tools and methodologies.

Many thanks

Hi Sophie

I have MSc Quality and safety in healthcare and I am interested to take up this opportunity. I have one question to know : do you assist negotiation with my current employer if I am selected ?

thank you
I am considering applying for the Fellowship and wondered, to what extent, it will be possible for spouses and children to accompany candidates to the US. My Wife works in healthcare and would be willing to take a career break to support me in the process.


Dear Xiaohong

Applicants should have the full support of their organisation before they apply, as there is a section of the application form which must be completed by their organisational sponsor. We would not expect to be involved in securing their support.

Many thanks

Dear Mark

It is certainly possible for families to move out to the US with the fellows and many of our former fellows have done so. This is obviously a personal decision, which we cannot advise on.

Am working with a local NGO in Malawi,Central Africa, on reducing maternal and neonatal deaths in the health facilities using quality improvement approach with quality improvement teams.Is this application flexible for people outside the UK?
Dear Leonard

Unfortunately this fellowship is only open to those working and living in the UK.


You need to update your downloadable booklet as the one available (on 24/7/12) states last years closing date.........
We would like to advertise this in our Academic Dept. Is there a poster we can download?
Dear Hugh

Thanks for alerting us to the incorrect version of the booklet - this has now been corrected. I will email you separately regarding the other query.

I am currently working as a clinical research physician, will I be qualified in applying for this fellowship?
Dear Anthony

It is difficult to say whether or not you would be eligible from the information you have provided above and I am unable to go into detailed individual situations here. What I can do is reiterate that we are looking for senior clinicians who are able to influence their organisation at the highest level.

If you still have questions after reading the supporting information please contact me on

Is this an on-going scheme? I am not in a position to be able to apply for the 2013/14 fellowship but would be extremely interested in apply for the following one if it is a rolling programme.
Dear Sarah

This is the 10th year we have run the Quality Improvement Fellowships and this is the final round of applications, so there will not be an opportunity to apply for a future intake. There will be a new leadership development programme to replace it, which is currently in the early stages of development and likely to open for applications some time in 2014.

I work as a senior practitioner occupational therapist in adult sevices, which is social care rather than health service Would I be eligible to be considered?
Hi Yvonne

I am an Senior Occupational Therapist working in long term neurological conditions with an extended role of clinical lead for the occupational therapy service. Would I be elligible to apply for the fellowship.
Yes, an occupational therapist would be eligible for this fellowship.

I am a dual qualified nurse who have worked within the NHS and private healthcare. I am currently working for a private healthcare in the nursing home. I am eligible to apply for this fellowship?
Dear Olufemi

Yes, someone working in a private nursing home would be eligible to apply, provided their organisation is fully supportive of the application and will help the Health Foundation achieve our aims.

Hi Yonne
I am a diploma qualified nurse that has completed the reserch module of the nursing degree, would I be eligible for this fellowship?
Kind regards
Hi Claire

It is quite difficult to say based on the information you have provided. When looking at eligibility, we are interested in an applicant's experience in leading improvement work, in their ability to influence at the highest level within their organisation and in the potential for regional or even national impact.

My instinct, from the information you have provided, is that you are probably not quite at the right stage in your career to fully benefit from this programme and that we would anticipate applicants having more experience. However, as I say it is difficult to be certain from the information provided above.

Please do email us on if you have specific questions about eligibility, as we will be able to go into much more detail there.

Is this opportunity available to hpc registered paramedics?
Dear M. Breen

Theoretically, someone with a paramedic background would be eligible to apply. However, they would need to be in a senior position of influence within their organisation and meet the other eligibility criteria for this programme.

Hi I am a deputy superintendent radiographer in a small DGH type hospital setting, I have an extreme interest in quality improvement and have been instrumental in redesigning services/patient focus within my own department, is this a suitable background for this post?
Hi Liz

It is difficult to comment on individual cases without having more information about the scale and impact of your improvement work. I can only reiterate what I have said to others, that applicants need to be in a senior role, in a position of influence within their organisation and have experience in leading improvement at a high level.

If you have more detailed or specific questions please contact us on the email address


I am a clinical community dietitian and have done work in malnutrition in a community setting (nursing homes, care homes, residential homes) where we have improved outcomes and support these establishments in screening for malnutrition.

I have also worked with GP's and Medicines Management team for the appropriate prescribing of supplements over a 5 month period and have made cost savings and helped in the QIPP agenda.

Would I be able to apply for this fellowship?
Yes you would be eligible to apply.
I am a community pharmacist for a private pharmacy chain.
Am I able to apply?
Hi Iain

I think this would be fine, provided you had the full support of your employing organisation and that they would be happy to help the Health Foundation achieve our aims.

Dear Sophie or Vivienne,

When will the application process open for 2014/15 improvement fellowships?

Best wishes
Dear Paul

I have individually answered your email regarding opening dates for the next round.

Please keep an eye on our website for the next round of Improvement Fellows. I am sorry that I cannot be more specific with dates at the moment.

It is a good idea to sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with all programmes and opening dates for applications. You can find the newsletter on the home page of our website.




Are you able to confirn when the application process open for 2014/15 improvement fellowships will be open?

Many thanks in advance,
Dear Kenye

We are currently in the process of reviewing the format of the Quality Improvement Fellowship and will not be recruiting for a 2014/15 cohort. We do not currently have any information on when it will next open for application.

Please sign up for email alerts to ensure you are among the first to hear of any new developments.

Best wishes

Has any decision been made about 2014/15 Fellows for IHI?


Dear Alex

As previously confirmed, the Health Foundation will not be recruiting for fellows for the 2014/15 intake.

Please sign up on our website for email alerts about opportunities for funding.


I am really interested in undertaking this course. Can you tell me when applications are going to be opening again?

can i do some internship for a period of 3 to 4 months. I am dental surgeon with MBA in healthcare and hospital administration in India. Visiting London with my husband for a short period of 6 months. Can i get associate with your organisation?
Is this program still running? How and when is the application open?

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