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Talking to different Q members in recent weeks, I’ve heard that being part of the community continues to offer a powerful sense of belonging as members navigate ongoing system challenges. We can re-energise and recuperate when we lean into that sense of connection. Meaningful belonging is fundamental in building resilience and maintaining hopefulness and creativity.

Q at its core is cross-boundary and multi-disciplinary. And Q Exchange is an important representation of the power of working intentionally, together, to bring about change across health and care. Voting is a core part of Q Exchange: the final decisions about which projects should receive funding are in your hands. We didn’t run the Q Exchange vote last year because of the exceptional circumstances faced by the health and care system. So we are very excited to bring back the vote for Q Exchange 4. In this blog, I’ll explain a bit more about the voting process and why it’s important.

How we chose the shortlist

This year we received an incredibly diverse range of project ideas and proposals on our theme, ‘Bringing together the worlds and methods of improvement and digital, to enable better outcomes and faster, more sustainable change​’. We are very excited by the 30 projects on the shortlist, and their potential for change. A huge thanks to everyone on the assessment panels who reviewed the projects and helped whittle down the list from 113 to 30. The final shortlist was reviewed by the Health Foundation and our funding partners for digital health and care at NHS England and Improvement.

The shortlist is noticeably varied, with projects covering the acute sector, community services, mental health services and system-based work.​ As a Q member, you will be invited to vote on the 30 shortlisted ideas. The 20 projects with the highest number of votes will receive funding. We expect to announce the results of the vote online on Tuesday 14 June 2022.

How this stage of Q Exchange works

We’re encouraging the shortlisted project teams to campaign for your support, within the bounds of the Q compact. Over the coming weeks, these projects will be looking for your support and, from Tuesday 17 May, your vote. So please take a look at their proposals, and consider who you would like to support.

You will be able to vote for up to five projects to receive Q Exchange funding. Five votes enables everyone to support local projects but also to look beyond geographical and professional categories and lend support to a wider range of projects.

Voting will happen online, via the Q website, between Tuesday 17 May and Tuesday 31 May 2022. You’ll be able to add your choices to a virtual shopping basket, that you can save and review before submitting your final votes. A red ribbon will appear on your Q profile picture when you have submitted your votes, to let everyone know you’ve participated in Q Exchange. The vote itself should take around 10-15minutes, but I recommend spending some time to review the shortlist before casting your vote! And it would be great if you could encourage other members to vote too.

This year we’re working with CES, an independent voting specialist, to run and verify the vote. Voting demographic data will only be available to the Q team and CES, your votes will be anonymous.

What happens once the funding is allocated?

Over the next year, successful project teams will share their discoveries and learning and there will be opportunities to collaborate as part of these projects’ delivery.

You’ve told us time and time again that participation matters. We know that you value the sense of affinity Q offers, the sense of like-mindedness and peer support. That’s why the projects that go on to receive funding this year will be developed and chosen by you. Please put some time aside to vote between 17 and 31 May. We want your valuable insight to be the driver behind Q’s flagship funding programme. Ultimately, we want to get behind the projects you get behind.

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