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To provide peer support through the development of a physical and or virtual space (Qspace) where all groups and or individuals within the organisation can meet to discuss Quality Improvement projects. This may include successes, practical tips, sharing problems or difficulties, sharing knowledge and building relationships. This will create a collaborative peer-supported community.

Through the development of the Qspace a natural network (Qnet) will develop connecting individuals and groups. Peer support would be a core element of this environment and structure. Activity can be logged and encouraged in a constructive, supporting way. Qnet and Qspace would also provide the architecture to run focus groups and workshops targeting hot topics and recent themes.

Peers across areas and specialties will discover similar projects and team up collaboratively and supportively to achieve a common goal.

Local Q-Community members will provide a core foundation of peer-supporting contributors within this Qnet and will undertake a multitude of roles including that of coaching.

The peer-support will come from tackling QI issues such as:

1) Difficult conversations

2) Organisational barriers

3) Data and charting skills

4) Model for improvement and the science of improvement

5) Sharing experiences and ‘examples on how difficulties were managed and successes obtained’

6) Practical advice and support

7) Connecting teams to facilitate collaborative projects

8) Support around emotional well being

The key principle in the formation of this Qspace and Qnetwork will be to provide a friendly peer-support free from any hierarchy within the organisation. An open, welcoming platform would be a core cultural aim.

The focus will be around sharing ideas, supporting QI methodology, facilitating progress, addressing organisational barriers, generating appropriate resources to facilitate projects, as well as general social support and encouragement.

Also the Qnet will allow the Health Board to have a clear view of all of the organisations Quality Improvement activity linking in with IQT (‘Improving Quality Together’) projects through ‘1000 lives’ and the existing QI team.

A key outcome from this peer-supported environment is the sharing of successes. The success stories can be promoted and advertised locally, nationally and internationally to ensure full recognition. It will also demonstrate the effectiveness of taking a collaborative, practical, neutral peer-supported network as key to the success.

The funding will provide the resources needed to develop this Qspace and Qnet by:

1) Supporting the financial aspects of a web-based presence. The webspace would be the key 24/7 access to all of the Qspace activity from: Connecting people, logging QI projects, discussion boards to focus ideas and provide practical help. It will advertise meetings, focus groups, one-to-one coffee meetings (‘Randomised Coffee Trials’), as well as perhaps message boards within collaborative multi-department Quality Improvement projects. This Webspace will need to be developed, managed and supported from IT.

2) Supporting the financial need in the first instance of costs incurred with use of space/resources to run Qspace/Qnet events. These will include regular meetings, the setting up and running of workshops and other QI peer-support focused events

3) The development of promotional material in the form of posters, flyers as well as media including a promotional video to be shared across the organisation to connect as many people in this peer-supported network.

4) The purchase of computer facilities within the physical Qspace as well as AV equipment to allow a group sharing of QI activity as part of the peer-support mechanism. Some storage facilities and desks/chairs as well as a more comfortable seating area for informal chats would be advantageous.

5) To run specific training on QI methodology, model for improvement as well as more advance data interpretation and graphical charting around run-charts and shewart charts.

It is proposed that once the development of the Qspace & Qnet is established, successfully demonstrating an excellent peer-supported Quality Improvement environment – the same approach can be used by all the other Health Boards across Wales. Thereby creating a more global Welsh Qspace for an equal, peer-support network which can potentially take a co-ordinated network of QI projects to the next level. This can then work collaboratively in union with the wider Q-Community to promote a fully connected, unified approach to Quality Improvement across the UK.

How you can contribute

  • How best to approach this idea and whether others have created similar such spaces and or networks. Any experience in such an enterprise would be gratefully received. Any other thoughts or ideas also very welcome!

Further information

Qspace & Qnet v1.2 (PDF, 932KB)


  1. Interesting and ambitious project! You mention that your aim is to ‘provide a friendly peer-support free from any hierarchy within the organisation’. I’m wondering how are you hoping to achieve this, as overcoming entrenched hierarchies can be difficult, especially if multiple people from the same team attend a physical or digital space?

    You probably know about the Q community’s special interest groups (SIGs); the Q lab has its own online space for lab participants also. What we’ve learnt from the Q Lab’s online space, is that providing a space for people to share isn’t always enough, and that there needs to be some support and nurturing too (although not too much!) Have you considered how you might support the virtual Q Space to thrive? We’ve found that face-to-face interactions during workshops appear to have been more effective for creating meaningful connections, including exchanging ideas and advice. I’ve pulled out a couple of extracts from the feedback we received about the Lab’s online space: “either people post and get no feedback, or they don’t post because they don’t know what to say or what others are interested in”, and “people need to be motivated to contribute, to see the value in it and to feel a responsibility to others, and it needs to be more fun and engaging”. (You can see more on this discussion at the following links, although they are quite specific to the Lab:,5KD2C,PG05AG,LLV8B,1). More generally, you may find the Q Lab essays useful:

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