Key points

  • Analysis of the key concepts in spreading ideas. 
  • Evidence on what is known about what works to spread improvement.
  • Practical suggestions for planning communications, engaging the right people, sustaining interest in the work and celebrating and sharing achievements.

Spreading successful improvement work across the NHS is an essential part of improving health care quality and efficiency. Yet all too often an idea that has been shown to work well in one place is not adopted by others who could benefit from it.

The Health Foundation has been running improvement programmes for many years. This guide, intended for those actively engaged in health care improvement, draws on this experience, and empirical evidence, to provide practical information about how communications approaches can be used to spread improvement ideas. 


    Further reading

    Research report

    The spread challenge

    September 2018

    This report shines a light on the challenges facing the NHS in improving the uptake of new ideas and...

    Research report

    Against the odds: Successfully scaling innovation in the NHS

    January 2018

    This report from the Innovation Unit and the Health Foundation calls for new approaches to scaling...

    You might also like...

    Newsletter feature

    Bringing an improvement mindset to COVID-19

    Dominique Allwood is Assistant Director of Improvement at the Health Foundation, and was recently...


    Digital and data-driven innovation: supporting it to thrive

    Arne Wolters explores how digital and data-driven innovation can be used in ways that maximise the...


    How the NHS can use anchor strategies to build a healthy and sustainable post-COVID-19 recovery

    We look at how the NHS as an anchor institution has an essential role to play in recovering from the...

    Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

    Get social

    We funded research into which specific skills and knowledge are needed to deliver successful #QI initiatives in the…

    Follow us on Twitter
    Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

    Work with us

    We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

    View current vacancies
    Artboard 101 copy 2

    The Q community

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

    Find out more