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Q Exchange is a funding programme that offers Q members the chance to apply for up to £30,000 of funding for their improvement ideas.

Through this process, not only will members have the chance to develop and refine their improvement ideas with input from the UK-wide community, but it also provides opportunities for learning and collaboration.

Here you can find out about how the programme works, the requirements and information about ways to get involved.

What are the two themes for Q Exchange 2019

This year we are seeking project ideas on two themes:

  1. Building improvement capability across boundaries
  2. Understanding alternatives to traditional outpatient appointments

Colleagues from the Insight & Analysis Unit at the Health Foundation have created briefings on each theme that offer an overview of the theme and provide examples of improvement projects that the Health Foundation has funded that relate specifically to Improvement capabilities across boundaries and Outpatient service redesign.

We have also created an online group space for each team, where you can discuss, explore and collaborate with other members on project ideas for Q Exchange 2019

How do I apply?

There are two stages to the application process:

1. Idea generation (Monday 10 June 2019 to 12.00 Monday 1 July 2019)

From Monday 10 June until 12.00 Monday 1 July Q members are invited to post their ideas on the Q website and create online project pages.
Members can submit as many ideas as they like, but they will only be able to submit one proposal during the next stage.

2. Refine and submit (Tuesday 2 July 2019 – 12.00 Monday 29 July 2019)

Throughout July Q community members are encouraged to help refine these ideas by commenting and offering support via the project pages, enabling applicants to further refine their ideas.

Applicants will then choose which idea they will convert into a proposal by completing the additional information required no later than 12.00 Monday 29 July in order for it to be considered for shortlisting. See ‘How do I convert my idea into a proposal’ section below for full guidance.

During August and September shortlisting panels will assess the proposals, with the shortlist announced by mid-September.

Up to 30 shortlisted ideas will go forward to the Q community vote, where Q members will vote online to decide which projects receive funding.

Winners will be announced at the UK-wide Q community event in November

What should I do next?

Start thinking about what you might want funding for! You can upload your project ideas from Monday 10 June until 12.00 Monday 1 July 2019. But remember, the earlier you upload your project, the more time you will have to develop and improve your idea with the help of the Q community.

In the application you will need to answer four key questions about your project, along with general information about your project including team members and project location. We suggest that you spend some time reviewing these questions with your team before you add them to your idea page. Each answer can be no longer than 1000 characters.

The four key questions are:

What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to your chosen theme? Include different forms of evidence that demonstrate an understanding of the problem and explain the impact this has on people and the current system/service.

What does your project aim to achieve? Include the objectives of your project and what work will be delivered. Clearly explain how the project will result in improvement for the intended beneficiaries, how this will be measured and enables effective use of resources to deliver value for money.

How will the project be delivered? Demonstrate how relevant people and skills are involved; that your project has a well-considered approach and you’ve thought about how to manage risk. Consider how it involves partners, Q members and other stakeholders.

What and how is your project going to share learning throughout? Demonstrate the project’s potential to generate valuable learning and that there is an approach for sharing learning to the Q Community and wider system throughout the project.

How do I add my idea?

  • Click ‘Your Ideas’ tab: You will be asked to log in with your Q website account – if you have never logged in before use the email address you provided when you joined Q and you will be asked to create a password.
  • Click ‘Add Idea’ button: Once you are logged in you can choose ‘Add Idea’ to get started on your first idea.
  • Complete the form: In order to post an idea you need to complete a number of fields; project name, project team, and description of your idea.
    You only need to complete fields marked with * to post your idea during the idea generation phase.
  • Click ‘Publish’: Once you have completed all the required fields you can publish your idea and share it with the community. If you are not quite ready to share your idea you can save it as a draft and return to it later.

Your ideas

How do I edit my idea?

Your can edit your ideas and proposals up until 12.00 on Monday 29 July 2019. However, only ideas that have been converted into a proposal will be taken forward to the shortlisting phase.

  • Click ‘Your ideas’ tab: Navigate to the idea you want to edit and click ‘Edit this idea’.
  • Once you have made changes click ‘Update’ at the bottom of the page to save your changes.

Your ideas

How do I convert my idea into a proposal?

In order for your idea to be considered by the shortlisting panels you must convert your idea into a proposal during the refinement phase by completing all mandatory fields by 12.00 on Monday 29 July 2019.

  • Click ‘Your ideas’ tab: Navigate to the idea you want to submit and click ‘Edit this idea’.
  • Update the form and complete all the fields. Fields with p must be completed in order to convert your idea into a proposal.
  • Once you have made your changes click ‘Submit as proposal’ at the bottom of the page to convert your idea.

Once you convert your idea into a proposal you can continue to make changes up until 12.00 on Monday 29 July 2019. After this you will no longer be able to make changes and the information you provide will be used by the shortlisting panels to decide which project will go forward to the Q community vote.

Your ideas

Who can apply?

a. Only Q members can submit an application.

A project team can be made up of Q and non-Q members, but a Q member must be the lead applicant.

b. The lead applicant must submit on behalf of a lead organisation.

Grant funds will be paid to the lead organisation. All arrangements for subcontracting and/or transfer of funds to other parties will be the responsibility of the lead

c. The lead applicant must be part of the project delivery team.

d. Q members can only act as the lead applicant for one proposal, but can be named as part of other Q Exchange project teams.

e. Q members involved in current and/or past awards from the Health Foundation are eligible to apply, but we would encourage applicants to consider if they have capacity to deliver on multiple awards.

Applicant guidance document

What types of projects will be considered?

a. Improvement projects (either in entirety or as part of a larger programme of work); these could test a new idea or adopt and adapt an existing one.

b. Development and delivery of learning events/training/toolkits or resources.

c. Evaluations/data gathering and analysis of improvement projects.

d. Software development (provided user testing is part of the project).

e. Design work with patients/service users/staff/local communities.

f. Research projects.

g. Development of a communication campaign/materials relating to improvement.

More information about the types of projects that are not eligible can found in the applicant guidance

Who should the project benefit?

a. All projects must have wider benefit for the Q community (eg direct impact or sharable learning).

b. One or more of the following groups should directly benefit as individuals, groups and/or communities:

  • patients, carers and/or service users of health and care services in the UK.
  • those employed in organisations supporting health and care in the UK (NHS staff, charities etc.)
  • Q community members.

Applicant guidance document

How will applications be assessed?

During August and September the shortlisting panels will assess the proposals, making their selection by mid-September 2019.

Further details to help you understand how the shortlisting panels will assess your Q Exchange application and what they will be looking for can be found in the applicant guidance

How can I help support others to develop their ideas?

Want to help support others to develop their ideas, but not sure where to get started?

Have a look at our guidance about different ways you can help

Contributor roles

Full details about applying to Q Exchange 2019 can be found in the full applicant guidance document

If you have any further questions or need help with your idea please contact the Q Exchange team