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As our Director for Improvement, Will Warburton, said in his piece for the HSJ earlier this month: ‘They say it’s easier to 'act your way into a new way of thinking' than it is to 'think yourself into a new way of acting'. The urgency and enormity of the COVID-19 pandemic has given the NHS no choice but to act – innovating radically and rapidly.’

The pace of change is incredible. With so much activity happening everywhere across the health and care system at the moment, it can be hard to see the wood for the trees. The Q community (an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK and Ireland) is playing an important role in supporting its 3,800 members and many more followers to respond to the challenges presented by COVID-19. With the channels and networks in place to connect with people leading on improvement across health and care, it’s in a unique position to support those leading change on the front line and at all levels of the system. 

Q remains open for applications throughout the pandemic, but you don’t need to be a Q member to benefit from the wealth of information and support being generated by the network. We’ve summarised below five ways Q is helping during the pandemic, signposting to the main resources and ways you can engage with this work. 

5 ways Q is helping:

1.    Supporting rapid learning and improvement 

As a result of coronavirus, national bodies, system leaders and local teams all over the country have had to radically change their ways of working, leading to a huge amount of innovation at incredible pace. How do we capture this and share the learning so that the whole system can benefit? Members of the Q community explored this question during a popular online workshop earlier this month on ‘Rapid learning and improvement during COVID-19’, with 160 participants from health and care across the UK and Ireland. You can watch a recording of the workshop and read about the key insights and tools that were shared. The next workshop takes place on Friday 29 May and you can follow the event on twitter using the hashtag #RapidQI. You can also register to receive updates about future events in the series

2.    Keeping up with the key improvement activity

For people busy delivering services and improvement during this time of crisis, it can be hard to find the time to lift your head up and see what’s going on outside your busy world. ‘And yet learning together – flexibly and quickly – and making best use of what’s already known has never been more important.’ Stacey Lally, Associate Director of Professional Development and Community says this is why Q has developed ‘Weeknotes’. Since the end of April, the team has been publishing a weekly easy-to-digest summary of the information and learning being shared across the Q community and beyond about what’s happening in improvement at this time, which might help health professionals at the forefront of responding to COVID-19. Read the weeknotes published so far: Weeknote#1, Weeknote#2, Weeknote#3, Weeknote#4.

3.    Sharing learning on video consultations

Across the health system, clinics and services have switched to using video consultations to reduce face to face contact with patients during the COVID-19 outbreak. Over the last few months, Q has been taking a deep-dive into this particular area of rapid innovation, running regular webinars, collating practical resources and providing support and collaboration opportunities for people quickly scaling up this service change. Q is also gathering and sharing live insight from 35 clinicians and project leads currently implementing video consultations. This page shares the latest learning from this project, plus other blogs, video clips and other resources relating to virtual consultations.   

4.    Providing a platform for learning and sharing about improvement

The blog section of the Q website has always been a place for Q members to share and learn from each other, and it’s proving as useful as ever. The community of experienced improvers from across the UK and Ireland are regularly sharing their thoughts, experiences and resources as they face new ways of working and new challenges due to COVID-19. So far this includes pieces on leadership in a crisis, the shift in mindset needed for rapid change to happen, teamworking in acute care during the pandemic, and more.

5.    Connecting improvement leaders across the UK and Ireland

For the leaders of national improvement teams across the UK and Ireland, Q provides opportunities to share and learn across borders. In this blog Q Initiative Director Penny Pereira talks about the work Q has been doing to support these connections during the pandemic, and summarises four themes that emerged from a recent call she held with leaders. In her follow up blog, she shares a summary of the group’s discussion on the critical role of mindsets when embedding and scaling COVID-related innovations. 


Find out more

You can find out more on the Q website, or follow @theQCommunity on twitter for regular updates and more of this kind of content. 

This content originally featured in our email newsletter, which explores perspectives and expert opinion on a different health or health care topic each month.

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

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