Few us of us could have imagined that we would be announcing Q Exchange 2020 in the context of a global pandemic when the health and care system, and the population at large, are coping with some of the biggest challenges of our lifetime. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been, and still is, a tragedy, and its effects on individuals and on society will be felt for many years to come.
As a result of the pandemic, new collaborations and partnerships have been formed
But we should also acknowledge that some positive changes have emerged over recent months. As a result of the pandemic, new collaborations and partnerships have been formed which have enabled rapid change and innovation. Our health and care system, and our communities, have adapted and innovated at a scale and pace that was previously unimaginable.
In light of this, our grant funding programme, Q Exchange, will this year focus on one theme: embedding positive changes emerging through new collaborations or partnerships during COVID-19. We will offer 20 awards, of up to £30k each, to support Q members to develop and embed promising and positive changes.
Q Exchange is unique. It supports Q members to collaborate and learn from one another at every stage of the process, enabling members to test the seed of an idea in a way that supports learning, as well as drawing on the knowledge of others who are responding to similar challenges.
Scope of the funding opportunity
The positive changes that have emerged through COVID-19 fall into two broad categories:
- Changes to service provision. Changes have been made to the services available to patients and citizens and the way these services are accessed and delivered. Substantial shifts ranging from innovative community and neighbourhood care services to new discharge processes for frail, elderly, end of life patients have been put in place at speed.
- Changes to ways of working: Significant changes have been made to ways of working, culture and processes to enable people to work together effectively during the pandemic. Examples include enhanced local system working, strong clinical leadership and digitally-enabled collaboration.
Not all of the changes implemented have been positive. Some of them have been necessary to respond to the crisis but have negative impacts, or no longer serve the needs of our patients, citizens and workforces after the crisis. But some of the changes will have demonstrated signs of promise for the future.
Q Exchange offers a unique opportunity to further develop and embed these changes
Q Exchange offers a unique opportunity to further develop and embed these changes, learning from and with Q members who have been doing similar work in parallel across the UK and Ireland.
More detail about the scope of this year’s Q Exchange programme will be shared in the next few weeks – look out for August’s Q-municate newsletter. In particular, we’ll be looking for applicants to pay attention to how you know this is a positive change – what indicative data and/or feedback you have from those affected by the change. We would like you to pay particular attention to considering how the change could play a part in reducing health inequalities.
Recognising that health and wellbeing is understood more holistically now than it has ever been, we invite bids from all sectors and care settings.
How you can get involved
We will share more information about the process of applying to Q Exchange, and the opportunities to get involved, in August’s Q-municate newsletter and on our website.
Applications will open from 1 September. Now is the time to start thinking and talking to fellow Q members, to your colleagues, patients and the public about ideas you could put forward.