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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact improvers. We have been hearing how many Q members are taking a cautiously optimistic approach to recovery of both staff and services as case numbers continue to fluctuate. Restarting improvement work needs time and attention, but creating that space isn’t easy as staff adapt to the new pressures generated or intensified by the pandemic.

This transition feels trickier than others. However, amidst the uncertainties lies an opportunity. As health and care staff and services begin to chart their recovery from the pandemic, Q members can lean on each other to capture and synthesise what has been learnt and explore what this means for improvement moving forward. This is a step removed from our day jobs, where we renew connections and adopt a rhythm to learning from and with each other in creative and collaborative ways.

Creating a convening space

Our new series of regular workshops, Community Space, aims to provide a safe space to explore the future of improvement as we, and the health service, transition together. Members from across the UK and Ireland can learn and practice creative ways to make sense of how our improvement work needs to change.

We hope these workshops will support and equip you to replicate these convening spaces in your local and regional networks.

During the series, we’ll use different tools for collaboration such as Liberating Structures, Creative Approaches to Problem Solving, and Skills for Collaborative Change; tools that can be used in your teams to support improvement work. Each workshop will invite Q members to bring their experience, creativity and learning to share with others. We hope these workshops will support and equip you to replicate these convening spaces in your local and regional networks.

In the first workshop, we will begin with understanding the principles behind enabling a safe space for collaborative learning, led by Hilda Campbell; a Q member and participant of our recently concluded Network Weaving series, where these principles were used. We’ll also hear from two Q Exchange award holders, Gill Smith and Victoria Collins, who will share how the pandemic has impacted their work, and what they learnt through adapting over the past year. There will also be opportunities for other members to share experiences and how the last year has impacted on your improvement work, reflect on what you have learnt, how you have leant into change and to seek help from others where needed.  Together, we’ll use creative methods to identify what connects these experiences, explore how we’ve adapted and changed, how this connects with others’ improvement work and what we, as a community of improvers, can learn.

Join us from 11.00-12.30, Thursday 22 July 2021.

Q members: register to join the event

Looking ahead to our second workshop in September

We are keen to work with members to bring your creative skills and experience to help us shape each workshop in this series. Whether you’re a new member, or have been with Q since it began, we want to hear your perspective. If you’d like to be involved in planning and designing future Community Space workshops, please get in touch.

We want these workshops to work for you; this is your Community Space.


  1. Here is a short two-part course on the basics of sketchnoting. This follows on from our first Community Space workshop & will support you in thinking differently about recovery & your improvement work.

    Especially useful for those of you who were not able to make it to our first workshop - and would like to learn a creative way to approach recovery through an opportunity to connect with others in your local / regional improvement networks.

    Learn more about Part one – Basics of sketchnoting workshop here:

    Learn more about Part two – Putting your learning into practice here:

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