• Q stands for quality. Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.
  • We’re creating opportunities for people to come together as an improvement community – sharing ideas, enhancing skills and collaborating to make health and care better.
  • Opportunities to join Q are being phased across different parts of the UK. From 3 November until 5 December, we are looking for people from the North East and North Cumbria, South West, and West of England.
  • Visit q.health.org.uk to find out more.

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK, led by the Health Foundation and supported and co-funded by NHS Improvement.

Q’s mission is to foster continuous and sustainable improvement in health and care. We’re creating opportunities for people to come together as an improvement community – sharing ideas, enhancing skills and collaborating to make health and care better.

We are creating Q for the long term to support individuals and their existing improvement work, to benefit members’ organisations and the populations they serve. It is designed to complement and help connect other initiatives and networks.

This is an exciting time for Q as we begin to pilot a variety of activities and opportunities that will enable people to connect, exchange, collaborate and learn. Some of these will be led by the Health Foundation, with others led by members and partner organisations.

Please register your interest if you would like to be kept up to date with more details including future opportunities to join.

Who is part of Q?

The Q community is made up of a diverse range of people, including those at the front line of health and social care, patient leaders, commissioners, managers, researchers, policymakers and others. This diversity boosts the power of Q as a source of innovation and practical problem solving.

Q was co-designed with 231 founding members in 2015. This helps ensure Q is genuinely helpful to the diverse range of people leading improvement. Q will continue to evolve – being shaped with the community as it grows.

We recently welcomed another 216 members to the community, making Q currently a community of 447 improvers. Over the coming years we envisage Q will become a community of thousands of people.

Joining Q

There is no membership fee or specific time commitment – members have the flexibility to commit and participate in ways that fit with their lives and their improvement work. It is not a taught programme, but a network of support for those already knowledgeable in and undertaking improvement work.

To ensure the community is grown in a manageable way, and to enable the members to contribute to its evolving shape and design, opportunities to join Q are being phased across different parts of the UK.

As part of this, we are partnering with a number of improvement organisations who are helping us to grow the community.

The next phase takes place from 3 November to 5 December 2016. We are partnering with the North East and North Cumbria, West of England and South West AHSN regions to promote and attract people to join the Q community.

In March 2017, we will be looking for people in Scotland, Yorkshire and the Humber, North Thames (UCLPartners AHSN area), North West Coast and the Midlands.

People in Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as other areas of England, will be able to join from May 2017. We will be partnering with the HSC Safety Forum in Northern Ireland, Public Health Wales, and the following AHSNs: Kent Surrey and Sussex, Health Innovation Network (South London), Greater Manchester, East Midlands, Eastern, West of England, Imperial College Health Partners, Wessex and Oxford.

How to apply

Between Thursday 3 November and Monday 5 December (23:59GMT) we are looking for people with improvement expertise who primarily work/volunteer in the North East and North Cumbria, South West, and West of England.

If you are interested in applying to join Q as part of this phase, please follow these steps.

1. Find out more

We recommend you start by reading the supporting information:

2. Apply online

You will need to complete and submit an online application via our portal AIMS. We estimate it will take between one and two hours to complete the form (you can save the application part way through and come back to it later). You'll also be asked to complete an accompanying applicant survey from independent evaluators RAND Europe once you've submitted your application.

Full guidance on accessing, completing and submitting your application via AIMS can be found in the applicants’ user guide. We recommend that you keep a copy of this, along with the applicant guidance, to hand and refer to it while you complete your application.

The application form will ask you to reflect on:

  • commitment: considered and lived commitment to collaborative improvement
  • knowledge: ability to articulate and reflect on the approaches used personally and by others involved in improving quality
  • experience: experience of playing an influential role in efforts to improve quality across boundaries

Further details can be found in the applicant guidance.

If you have a technical issue with the AIMS system please email AIMS@health.org.uk.

3. Further information

To support those applying to join Q, our partners are hosting a series of information calls. The calls are open to anyone. If you’d like to take part, more information can be found using the links below.

You can also email the Q team if you have any questions via JoiningQ@health.org.uk.

4. Deadline

The deadline for all applications is 11.59pm (GMT) on Monday 5 December. We are not able to accept submissions after this date.

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