As you may have read in my blog a couple of months ago, the Q team is working with our partners to develop proposals for the long term future of Q. This work builds on all we’ve heard from Q members and others over the last four years, as well as a workshop held in February that brought together a group of Q members who volunteered to help test early ideas.
The first key decision point is in July, when the Health Foundation Board will consider our proposals. Q represents a big commitment by the Health Foundation, NHS Improvement and Q’s partners across the UK and we expect there to be plenty of discussion and evolution of the plans over the weeks ahead.
As always, it’s key that Q members feed into this process – so, at the risk of sharing things that may well change, here’s an overview of what’s emerging so far. There will be a webinar on Wednesday 12 June where you can hear more and feed in your thoughts, but if you have any immediate reactions please do comment below.
Over the years ahead, let’s do more to make sure the benefits of Q reach out through your networks and organisations and Q in turn is connected in and benefits from other perspectives.
Emerging plans for Q
Overall, we’re asking for funding to continue Q for a further 10 years, with a review in 2025. Much of what you currently see from Q will continue – we will carry on providing a flexible menu of activities and resources, with increasing focus on making sure this helps members anticipate future trends. We want to repeat Q Exchange on an annual basis – meaning over 200 collaborative change projects might have been supported over 10 years. Q Lab will evolve and grow, with the potential for Labs in Wales and Scotland in the coming years.
The plan is to continue to grow the community, while making sure we also invest in a digital infrastructure and more support for groups and story-sharing so that it’s easy to find the people and information you want even as Q gets bigger. We are proposing to extend Q to the Republic of Ireland and to think about how Q can do more to reach into social care and local authority services and attract those working in digital change and across local and care systems. Overall, the aspiration might be to have 10,000 members in Q by 2030.
We know the fact that people need to meet a certain bar to join Q has always divided opinion. To address this while not eroding what it means to be a member, the plan is to promote and develop further what we’re provisionally calling ‘Open Q’ offers. There are already many opportunities for those from beyond the community to participate – Q Lab, Q Exchange and many of Q’s activities and groups involve those who aren’t members. Over the years ahead, let’s do more to make sure the benefits of Q reach out through your networks and organisations and Q in turn is connected in and benefits from other perspectives. Specifically in relation to service users, we’ve been thinking about how we can further boost Q as a force for co-production and partnership between patients and staff. Watch this space!
Q has built incredible momentum over the last four years, and we think now is the time to start thinking more about how to connect into and influence the wider system.
Q has built incredible momentum over the last four years, and we think now is the time to start thinking more about how to connect into and influence the wider system. A new element of Q is proposed, which aims to help those organisations leading change initiatives that span whole countries or regions. The aim is to make it easier for organisations like our country partners, regional organisations and others to learn from each other and from those working at the frontline.
As we’ve been speaking to people about what they’d like to see from Q over the years ahead, what’s been striking is that it’s not just the tangible development offers or funding and sharing opportunities they value. They see in Q the potential to build a fundamentally more collaborative approach to change. An approach that gets beyond the false dichotomy between bottom up or top down change, and the false choice between piloting and pushing out interventions or ‘letting a thousand flowers bloom’. An approach to change that brings together all the perspectives and skills needed to address the complex challenges we know we need to confront over the years ahead.
Thanks for all your input and support so far. Please do tell us what you think and join the webinar if you can.