Quality Improvement Fellowships

This fellowship aims to build a cadre of clinically-qualified leaders with the enthusiasm, experience and skills to champion the spread of improvement in health care


This fellowship is closed for applications.

  • Provides a one year fully-funded fellowship based at the IHI in the USA where fellows combine academic learning with developing a range of new skills and tools for driving improvement and change in health services.
  • Funds reflection time, backed with a rigorous academic and practical course, which enables key senior NHS leaders to return to the UK with skills and an international knowledge base to apply in practice.
  • The main focus of each fellowship is a research topic based around an improvement area of the fellow’s own personal interest.

Quality Improvement Fellowships aim to build a cadre of clinically-qualified leaders with the enthusiasm, experience and skills to champion the spread of improvement in health care.

The Health Foundation Quality Improvement Fellowships aims to give fellows the time and space to think deeply about how to improve the quality of health care, 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.

The combination of academic and practical learning opens up a wealth of career opportunities. Quality Improvement Fellows Alumni have gone on to local and national leadership roles.

Key facts

  • Fellows are senior clinically-qualified NHS professionals with a track record of achievement in quality improvement and who want to develop this further.
  • Fellows become part of a community of Health Foundation Fellows, who share a common ambition to improve the quality of health services in the UK.
  • Each fellow has a structured, individualised learning and work plan which includes intensive training in improvement skills, weekly seminars, attendance at IHI events, practical assignments and site visits to organisations doing exceptional work.
  • Fellows receive an allowance of up to £25,000 to support travel, relocation, visa and US health care 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.

Antony Sheehan

Anthony is a Quality Improvement Fellow and President of the Church Health Center of Memphis, USA.

Annette Bartley

Annette was a Quality Improvement Fellow and Independent QI Consultant and a registered nurse.

Doctor Lesley Anne Smith

Lesley Anne is a Quality Improvement Fellow and Head of Clinical Governance and Risk Management at NHS Highland.

Jason Leitch

Jason is a Quality Improvement Fellow and National Clinical Director, Healthcare Quality and Strategy, in the Scottish Government

Jonathon Gray

Jonathon is a Quality Improvement Fellow and Chief Operating Officer at South West Academic Health Science Network.

Simon Mackenzie

Simon is a Quality Improvement Fellow and Senior Medical Adviser at NHS Improvement.

Susan Went

Susan is a Health Foundation Leadership Fellow and Managing Director of Nerissa Healthcare Consulting Ltd.

Tom Downes

Tom is a Quality Improvement Fellow and Clinical Lead for Quality Improvement/Consultant at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Doctor Anne Kilgallen

Anne is a Quality Improvement Fellow and Deputy Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, Northern Ireland.

Doctor Asangaedem Akpan

Asan Akpan is a Quality Improvement Fellow and a Consultant Physician in Geriatric and General (Internal) Medicine at Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

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The Q Community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

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