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When working with Q’s founding cohort to co-design Q in 2015, people told us they wanted it to be built to last – not just another initiative that would drum up enthusiasm and then be dismantled a couple of years later. Q’s initial five-year funding comes to an end in April 2020, and so between now and the summer, we will be working with funders, members and others to develop a strategy for the longer-term future of Q and Q Labs. This blog describes the process and how we hope members will get involved.

Between now and the summer, we will be working with funders, members and others to develop a strategy for the longer-term future of Q and Q Labs.

Given the engagement in Q and early successes so far, we are hopeful Q’s partner organisations will be keen to provide further resources and support for Q. There is recognition that Q will take time to realise its potential and ongoing effort to understand and address those aspects of Q that are not yet working as smoothly as we’d like.

To develop credible plans, we need to understand how the world of improvement may evolve, and how Q should change in turn so it stays relevant for members. And ultimately so it can make the biggest difference possible for service users and the health and care system.

Through the process we’ll be grappling with quite a number of interconnected design questions. This includes ‘big picture’ thinking around the level of ambition we should set and what types of activity Q should prioritise. There are also important but less exciting questions about how Q should be set up operationally, Q’s ongoing relationship with the Health Foundation and other partners and how we design a funding model that will support sustainability while being consistent with our mission.

The process for developing future plans for Q

The process is being overseen by Q’s ‘joint governance group’ which consists of representatives from NHS Improvement, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, Public Health Wales and the HSC Safety Forum Northern Ireland as well as Rand, Q’s external evaluators. There is also a formal committee that has been set up within the Health Foundation to advise its Board on any future Health Foundation funding and other support for Q.

The initial work is being guided by the huge wealth of insight members have shared with us over the last four years about what’s important to them, what they want to see from Q, and what they think about what’s been done so far. This will be coupled with analysis of how members have been engaging with Q, drawing from the results of our annual survey.

The initial work is being guided by the huge wealth of insight members have shared with us over the last four years about what’s important to them, what they want to see from Q

In terms of specific input on future strategy, in 2017, there was initial consultation with over 60 stakeholders about early ideas for the long-term future, followed by a well-attended member webinar and a session at the Q community event involving over 50 members.

Over recent weeks we’ve been using all we’ve heard from members and stakeholders so far to develop design questions and options. By early March we hope to share provisional high-level ideas for the future. By June we hope to have more fully developed proposals, adapted in response to what we hear. If all goes to plan, it’s hoped the Health Foundation will have made a decision about any future funding by the autumn, with other organisations considering any support from them later in 2019. You can expect this process to be relatively strategic, with more detailed work on any new developments to be explored with members from 2020.

How you can get involved

We’re proposing two levels of member engagement in the process over the next six months.

All members and other stakeholders will be able to keep up to date with emerging thinking about the future of Q through content on the Q website and regular updates through Q-municate. There will be a webinar to introduce the process and thoughts so far on 27 February, which will be recorded for anyone who can’t join us. We may survey members to hear your views on any developments or questions that emerge that have significant implications for members.

We also hope that a smaller group reflecting the diversity of member perspectives will be able to invest more time in helping to shape and review emerging proposals. Based on evaluation feedback from the co-design phase of Q, we’ve learnt that meaningful involvement in multi-faceted design issues is best achieved with smaller groups, who can link with other Q members to represent a wide range of views. This will of course include patient and carer member perspectives. If you’d be interested in joining this group and could commit 1-2 days between March and June for a face to face workshop on 11 March, and reviewing detailed proposals, please email us by 28 February on q@health.org.uk. As this is design work for the benefit of the initiative, we will be able to pay expenses in line with our policy.

Based on evaluation feedback from the co-design phase of Q, we’ve learnt that meaningful involvement in multi-faceted design issues is best achieved with smaller groups

As well as this structured process, we’re always very happy to have questions, direct feedback and suggestions from members – the easiest way is to drop us an email at q@health.org.uk

It’s exciting times for Q. Three years in, there’s lots to build on in terms of insight from members and early lessons about what’s working and what we need to pay more attention to. Whether you can spare a few minutes or a few days, we hope you’ll find a way to keep up to date and feed into the process.

Get involved:

Comments

  1. I think this is a great initiative.  A broad church of people and ideas with a common focused purpose.  Perhaps a branch for development is to contribute towards the development of NHS strategies and policies through Labs and other methods as the Q membership has significant lived experience of how things can be changed in many different settings.  
  2. Hi Grant - thanks for this.   Indeed, there would seem to be a lot of potential in the 'collective intelligence' of the Q community, to use the jargon.  We did some work last summer that suggested those leading national policy work would value  the opportunity to tap into what Q members know about how change happens in practice.  Q members were keen on this idea too - if we can help those developing national strategies and policies to better reflect what's needed at the frontline, we all benefit!  We'll hope to develop firmer ideas on what we might do in this space over the months ahead - let us know if you'd like to feed in.

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