Q has a number of distinctive qualities and strengths that need to be reflected in how the community is led and governed. These include:
- a lack of hierarchy and a commitment to involving patients, carers and diverse professions from within and beyond the health and care sector.
- a strong commitment to flexible, iterative learning, minimising bureaucratic processes, maximising learning between members and promoting a sense of shared ownership across the community.
- a desire to facilitate two-way relationships between national and regional activities, as well as relationships with other improvement organisations, and ensure these are well managed as the community grows in size and complexity.
As part of the next phase of developing Q, work is underway to understand what model will be appropriate to guide and lead Q in the future. An idea being considered is the ‘Commons’ model.
The theory behind the Commons model was developed by economist Elinor Ostrom, whose work demonstrated – in very practical ways – how people could co-produce, and make the most of commonly held assets and resources.
We are trialing elements of the Commons model during 2017.
Q is going to need local ambassadors who will help to shape Q locally, as well as collaborating with colleagues at the Health Foundation and its country partners to think about how Q ties together nationally.
The three AHSNs in the North East North Cumbria, the West of England and the South West are piloting the role of an ambassador or convenor as part of this work.
Role of the Convener
Conveners are passionate about nurturing the Q community; they know their region or area well and have experience of bringing people together.
They act as an ambassador for Q, representing the interests of the community and work closely with both their commons stewardship group, stakeholders and Q project team.
Conveners promote the values of Q through their commitment to patient centeredness, shared decision making and co-production. They are ultimately helping to shape the future of Q.
This role is a paid role lasting 12 months, initially.
Introducing our Conveners
We may initiate commons stewardship groups in each part of the UK – creating a platform for stewardship of Q activities at a local level. There would also be structure for facilitating collaboration and knowledge exchange within and between the different local commons. We are testing this with colleagues in these three areas.