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Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are a great way for people to share experiences, challenges and inspiration. They can also be used to potentially initiate new improvement projects.

Get in touch directly with any group you’d like to get involved in – just click on the link of the named lead and fill out their contact form.

If you would like to start a new group – or develop a current SIG, or community of practice (CoP) – please take a look at Q’s new SIGs/CoPs support toolkit. Its full of ideas, tools and resources for supporting and developing SIGs and CoPs.

Newest groups:

  • Reimagining Health and Care (17/10/17)
  • Organisational Resilience (06/10/17)
  • Medicine Management (7/09/2017)
  • Educators as Improvers (7/09/2017)
  • Process Visualization in the NHS (7/09/2017)
  • Urgent and Emergency Care (22/08/2017)
  • Reducing Diagnostic Errors (22/08/2017)
  • PPI (Patient and Public Involvement) and Diversity (3/07/2017)
  • Dialogic OD (23/06/2017)
  • QI in Mental Health (12/06/17)

Ambulance Services and QI

Sarah Williamson
Leading on quality improvement initiatives and developing quality improvement capability across pre-hospital care requires different approaches to other types of quality improvement. This group offers a space to share experiences and learn from the successes and… challenges… from others on a similar journey.

Anaesthetists’ Special Interest Group

Dr Stephen Webb
Stephen and others have formed an Anaesthetists’ Q WhatsApp group and are using the network to support training and development.

Big Data

Seeking a SIG lead
Big data is opening up new challenges and opportunities for quality improvement. This group has been set up for members to share learning and experiences, find out about new methods and innovations, discuss the ethical and social implications of big data and bring big data analytics and methods into improvement settings.

The Bridging Networks Special Interest Group  – new

Jane Douthwaite
The ‘Bridging Network’ is a Special Interest Group for anyone interested in quality improvement across health and social care whether they are at the front line, in the board rooms, in the community or primary care. A place where multiple networks and communities such as other SIGS, individual Q Community Members, Academic Health Science Networks, NHS Improvement teams, NHS Change Day Hubbies, Fab Ambassadors can come together at a local, regional and national level.

This SIG will provide a safe space for individuals and teams to reach likeminded people and share their ideas around change, quality improvement and organisation development, methodologies, service improvements and innovations from within their areas. By joining the dots across multiple systems, we can all consider how we can work in more creative ways which embrace networks and communities crossing traditional organisational boundaries. The answers to a lot of our problems already exist, so let us move from ‘me’ to ‘we’ and consider how we can all move forward, together.

Community Healthcare Trusts (NHS Community Healthcare Trusts QI)

Dr Joanne Medhurst
Joanne has set up a group for people working in community health care NHS trusts. Fruitful meetings have been held to share best practices and challenges. All very welcome to join.


Mandy Rudczenko
In co-produced health care, organisations work with people who use services, carers and communities in equal partnership. It’s easy to do it wrong and quite hard to get it right, but it isn’t rocket science, and brings huge benefits to everyone involved. Why don’t we talk about it? (This group was launched by Fiona Carey).

Communities of Practice

Ann Abbassi
The group aims to bring together people who are interested in setting up Communities of Practice, or have already set them up, to share their experiences and knowledge.

Complexity approaches to support Quality Improvement

Emma Adams
This group will consider the impact of emerging theories around complex systems – such as complex responsive processes, Dialogic OD and systems thinking – on how we approach quality improvement. It will also focus on the leadership of relational aspects of change, considering how our interactions, through gesture and response, shape our environment.

Curious QI – new

Kate Cheema
Curiosity brings to mind images of inquisitive children (“..but why?…”), mad inventors and maybe even dead cats.  But there is increasing evidence that curiosity as a trait is not only desirable at a personal and organisational level but is also something that can be developed and nurtured to help achieve concrete improvements in patient outcomes and organisational development.
This SIG brings together people interested in concept of Curiosity as a key competency for QI in its own right, share experiences of how curiosity helped or hindered and collectively explore questions such as “how is curiosity valued across organisations, healthcare sectors and professions?” and “What barriers persist within workplace cultures that suppress curiosity, and what strategies can we identify that might help to eliminate them?”.

Developing Research Capacity in Quality Improvement – new

Yitka Graham and Susy Cook
There is potential to develop quality improvement projects as research, but it is not always straightforward. This group will discuss how to build research capacity, funding, methodology and offer support and collaboration to those who wish to develop and build research skills. All are welcome, no matter how little research experience you have.

Dialogic OD  – new

Jayne Edwards
This special interest group is designed for anyone with an interest in a dialogic approach to improvement and organisation development. This contemporary approach to OD views organisations as fluid, socially constructed realities that are continuously created through conversations and images. The stories that we tell can shape our professional identity and influence the culture of our organisation.   This group will be an opportunity to share experiences of using contemporary OD practice, develop shared understanding and contribute to the emerging evidence base around dialogic OD.

Educators as Improvers  – new

Jordan Napier
Many people working in the world of healthcare will also have some sort of role in healthcare education; it might be that you’re a mentor to nursing students, a clinical educator for AHP students, a clinical or educational supervisor for junior doctors or you may even have a role in teaching QI methods to colleagues, students and trainees.

I’m interested in thinking about how we use quality improvement methods, and the vast, lively network of Q members to improve education and training – thinking about our learners as the service users of healthcare environments, as well as our patients. My hopes for this SIG is that we can share experiences, challenges and resources aimed at improving the many learning environments situated in clinical environments throughout the UK.

Evaluation – new

Emma Gibbard
Appropriate good quality evaluation is essential component of quality improvement.  This group has been set up to link members who have experience, expertise and an interest in the evaluation of quality improvement.  It will offer a space for members to share, discuss and learn to enhance and develop evaluation theory, practice and utility.  It is hoped that this group will also explore opportunities to link with other relevant SIGs, such as co-production, complexity, research, alongside wider Health Foundation work and external evaluation networks.

Harm Free Care

Angela O’Shea
The group’s aim is to support the delivery of harm free care and the recording of measurable outcomes by:

  • tracking and monitoring incidents of harm in community patients
  • mapping current harm free care initiatives in place
  • reducing occurrence/incident of patient harm
  • sharing best practice.

Human-Centred Design in Health and Care

Kate Pound
Design thinking is increasingly used in industry to ensure the user is the focus of the final product. There is now a growing movement looking at how Design thinking can be used in health and care improvement too.

The group will focus on how to take this thinking forward in health and care.

Human Factors

Dr Chetna Modi
Chetna is looking to link with members who are interested in developing human factors capability within the NHS. In the East Midlands there is some work on this and we now have six human factors projects being delivered in partnership with NHS trusts. These are in response to patient safety issues that were identified by NHS staff, and are now being with redesigned with human factors expertise.

Chetna is keen to link with other regions also looking to support human factors implementation.


Yvonne Sawbridge
A growing number of members are developing their own health labs. This group provides members with an opportunity to share advice, insights and challenges around creating and running health labs.

Lean Healthcare

Iain Smith
Lean continues to become increasingly popular in health. This group will exchange information on current thinking and discuss ideas on the application and adaption of Lean thinking to the health care sector. Join the debate on Lean in health.

Learning from Excellence – new

Gemma Crossingham
Whilst it is important to learn from events where things have not gone well, the majority of healthcare interactions go safely.  Despite this, we have focus the much of our learning about safety from adverse events, where by definition, safety has been lacking.

‘Learning from Excellence’ is an innovation that focuses on capturing and learning from episodes of excellence in healthcare in an attempt to further improve the quality and safety of care that we provide.  It also provides an opportunity to thank and recognise staff for excellence, which may improve resilience, culture and morale.  This group will offer the opportunity to share ideas, experience, support, innovations and learning from what has gone well and what has been challenging!

Making Use of Patient Experience – new

Miles Sibley and Mark Sadler

Do we over-measure patient experience? Are we helped by the Friends and Family Test, CQC patient surveys, NHS Choices star ratings, Patient Opinion snapshot comments, local Healthwatch reports, Trust and CCG surveys and focus groups, and all the rest? Or are we just confused by it all?

This group aims to analyse the suite of tools available to measure patient experience, looking for those which have the most practical use for quality improvement. By autumn 2017, we want to publish a short paper with recommendations for how the NHS can de-clutter the measurement of patient experience, and help patient experience leads to make use of fewer, and better, datasets.

Medicine Management – new

Martin England
The purpose of this SIG is to address the challenges facing all health and social care providers in managing medicines.

Effective medicine management is fundamentally important for patient care. In England, the Care Quality Commission perennially highlights medication related problems faced by care homes in their reports and surveys. Regarding NHS acute hospitals, the Carter Review (2015) into operational productivity and performance recommended a “hospital pharmacy transformation programme” which promoted the role of pharmacy staff in medicine optimisation, governance and safety whilst reducing their direct involvement in medicine management that was not patient-facing.

For health and social care providers, medicine management is dependant on the quality of processes which can include: prescribing; procurement; ordering; dispensing; receipt; handling; storage; disposal; record-keeping; administration or supply to patients.

Options to improve the quality and efficiency of medicine management in hospitals include electronic prescribing and administration systems; consolidation of hospital manufacturing units; robotic dispensing; outsourcing outpatient dispensing; rationalising the supply chain; and consolidating stock holding.

This SIG is open to all stakeholders who wish to get involved with improving the quality of medicine management.

Organisational Resilience – new

Simon Gill
We strive to provide high quality, safe care whilst operating in a complex environment, facing considerable uncertainty on a daily basis. The degree of complexity and uncertainty is increasing but the system must always be capable of dealing with acute shocks and chronic stresses. It is critical that we seek new ways of addressing this challenge by building organisations that deliver resilient performance, adopting new tools and techniques and supporting our teams and our leaders.

This SIG will provide a space in which to share our experiences of these issues, explore the state-of-the-art in resilience theory and build a knowledge-base of practical solutions to this challenge we all face.

PPI and Diversity

Josephine Ocloo
Serious clinical and service failings in the UK and internationally have increased the calls for patients and the public to be engaged in healthcare to improve patient safety. These calls are now reflected in key policy statements such as ‘Patients and their carers should be present, powerful and involved at all levels of healthcare organisations from wards to the boards of Trusts’ (A promise to learn – a commitment to act: National Advisory Group on the Safety of Patients in England, 2013).

The aim of the PPI and Diversity SIG is firstly to explore what PPI and diversity and equality means in the context of quality and safety improvement and how a broader group of patients and the public can best be involved in these activities. Secondly, as part of my Health Foundation research project on PPI and patient safety, I am interested in testing some small interventions to involve diverse groups in different areas of patient safety and quality and am keen to find people in NHS Trusts who are willing to work with me in developing these interventions.
(*PPI = Patient and Public Involvement)

Primary Care

Dr Liz Fisher
Liz is a GP in Horsham in the Kent Surrey and Sussex region. She is starting up a group for any interested GPs, doctors and nurses in primary care in Q to share ideas and support each other. As everyone is ‘crazily hectic’ (her words!) there won’t be regular events or chats, but the SIG aims just to create a flexible forum within Q. It now has its own WhatsApp group.

Process Visualization in the NHS – new

Dr Tom Rose
This SIG will look at identifying and documenting, in flow chart format,  process management in the NHS, both clinical and administrative processes are addressed. The structure of the Process Visualization set  will follow, as far as is possible, the anatomy and metrics of NHS Improvement’s Model Hospital. Once a process has been identified and documented then the flow chart will be circulated to as wide an audience as possible to replicate best practice.

The resulting process visualization set will form a baseline for Quality Improvement of processes within the NHS.

This project supports the research currently being undertaken by the Author at the University of Birmingham, Institute of Applied Health Research.

It is hoped that work done during the ‘Releasing Time to Care’ initiative can be use to feed into this project.

QI in Mental Health – new

Lisa Knight
Special Interest Group to support the sharing of ideas and good practice for QI across all Mental Health settings. The group will encourage the sharing of ideas and approaches to the use of QI within MH settings and link with existing SIGs where appropriate, I.e ‘co-production SIG’.

Q Reading Club

Dr Heather Shearer
This group offers a space where members can continue their own professional development through a virtual book club. The idea is that a particular time period and place is identified for a discussion space about a specific book/article/chapter/blog. Members can join in at a time that suits their personal commitments to read and contribute to the conversation. The first publication discussed was Carl Macrae’s ‘The problem with incident reporting’ in BMJ Quality & Safety.

Redesigning the organisational landscape – new

Rebecca Harriott
I am developing a route-map for STPs wishing to navigate their way to an organisational landscape fit to commission and deliver integrated models of care. I am interested in connecting with others working on setting up accountable care systems/organisations to share resources and learning.

My experience thus far suggests that whilst many systems are addressing this work they each have a different emphasis and so are advanced in some aspects and further behind in others. I am interested in sharing experience and resources in order to be able to create a comprehensive approach that will be helpful for the design work we’re all involved in in all our regions.

Reducing Diagnostic Errors – new

Wayne Robson
Diagnostic errors are a common cause of patient harm. This can happen when a diagnosis is missed, wrong or delayed and it is estimated 1 in every 10 diagnoses are wrong. Diagnostic error is most likely the thing that patients worry about most – they want to know what is wrong with me and how can I get better and they fear their diagnosis being wrong or delayed. The aim of this group is to reduce diagnostic errors and resulting harm by targeting the following actions:

  • Raising awareness of diagnostic error as a significant patient safety issue across healthcare
  • Raising public awareness of diagnostic error and encouraging patients to be active empowered partners in the diagnostic process
  • To connect healthcare staff who are interested in reducing harm from diagnostic errors and to share best practice

Reimagining Health and Care  – new

Jane Pightling and Matt Bell

This Reimagining Health and Care Special Interest Group is for people actively working to explore how we might reimagine our health care system to recognise individuals and communities as health producing. Inspired by the success of organizations like Buurtzorg the group will address how we can connect people to purpose, welcome the whole person at work and reinvent the structures and systems to support this change.

Renal Care

Jane Macdonald and Dr Richard Fluck
A Special Interest Group for renal disease was launched by members Jane and Richard. This national group supports existing national KQUiP aims – offering members opportunities for influence and involvement.

Staff Wellbeing and Quality Health Care

Hilda Campbell
Hilda realises the importance of providing a quality health care service for others, however people who work in health care have wellbeing needs too. It’s recognised that staff wellbeing is key to a quality health care experience. If you are interested in staff wellbeing and sharing ideas and strategies then this group is for you

Surgical Site Infections/Infection Control

Elizabeth Beech and Dr Eleri Davies
Eleri has set up this group. Surgical site infections represent a significant portion of health care associated infections. A majority are largely preventable, however, with evidence-based strategies available for over ten years and implemented in many hospitals.

Urgent and Emergency Care – new

Kate Lock and Andrea Gibbons

The importance of keeping the front door of acute services open, flowing and safe for patients has never been greater. With a relentless increase in numbers attending ED, OOH services at breaking point in the community and pressure on beds within the acute medical and surgical directorates, it is vital that managers and clinicians are sighted on safe, evidence-based practice and have an opportunity to cross-fertilise good ideas, tests of change that have succeeded (or not), and share best practice.

This SIG will offer leaders in Urgent and Emergency care, both in the community and in acute services, the chance to talk cross organisation to continue to develop new, efficient and safe ways of meeting this challenge.

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