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Meet the team: L&D gets a LIFE


  • Catherine Thorne, Director of Quality
  • Yvonne Wimbleton, Associate Director of Nursing (Patient Experience and Quality)
  • Carmel Synan-Jones, Lead trainer for QSIR
  • Emma Mordaunt, Improvement Facilitator, UCL Partners


The L&D Trust is working towards building a culture of improvement, working at all levels within the organisation. Staff told us, at a June 2017 consultation event on taking forward quality improvement within the organisation, that they wanted a central place to store and share improvement information and support QI work. In response, the Trust would like to adopt Life QI as our standard, organisational, improvement platform and would like to run a project to embed and sustain it. LIFE would provide us with a standard tool to coordinate the portfolio of Trust improvement work, as well as supporting groups of staff with the whole lifecycle of their improvement project.

 Current State

Currently there are no expert users, indeed few users, of the platform in the Trust. The Trust does not have a dedicated function to coordinate all Trust improvement work. And therefore there is no single, co-ordinated, overview of improvement projects.  Rather this sits under a number of individual’s remits. The Trust’s Quality Service Improvement  & Redesign (QSIR) trainer has promoted the use of LIFE QI to attendees on our training course, but most staff do not get around to using it due to lack of time, and unfamiliarity with the tool. This means that LIFE QI is unlikely to be straightforward or successful to adopt without planning, and without an appropriate start-up project to support.

Benefits of taking on LIFE QI

With LIFE QI, L&D Staff working on improvement projects can seamlessly use one application for all their QI project needs, and can easily share with other project team members. Using LIFE will avoid the need to learn to use other tools separately, such as Excel, Baseline SPC. As LIFE is web-based, it will facilitate sharing with colleagues across external organisations thereby getting over the potential information governance issues of not having access to each others organisational IT.

LIFE QI will support documentation of L&D improvement projects as they go along, in a structured, guided and standardised way, allowing oversight, and help guide project team members into thinking about why they are really doing each step. It takes people away from just doing project management. A Trust pathology project used LIFE throughout the project’s life cycle, with the lead stating that the team approached and thought differently because of it

LIFE QI would support cross-Trust programmes such as a planned junior doctor sepsis collaborative. Each individual ward/specialty will initiate a LIFE QI project, which can be linked together, combining the data into a Trust level view, creating the programme view.

LIFE would help us document, celebrate, share success and good practice within the L&D and across the wider improvement community, moving staff towards measurement for improvement rather than measurement for judgement. Widespread organisational adoption will help us change the language and the culture.

The project support for LIFE QI will be available to partner organisations within our area through our in-house QSIR programme – open to all of our partners across the region (STP BMLK, have had QSIR attendees from Luton CCG, Cambridge Community Services etc). QSIR is also multi-disciplinary, cutting across all staff groups, including staff from A&C, medical, nursing, pharmacy, doctors, AHPs etc.

Most AHSN have invested in LIFE as the NHS QI tool and, for example, UCLH say that they have noticed that junior doctors rotating in from other Trusts are sometimes already familiar with the tool – it is the equivalent of a common language. Life QI provides a continued means of staying connected with colleagues outside the classroom, supporting them on their QI journey, standardising the language of improvement. We would like to be able to receive and contribute to this spread, to connect with others in Q and beyond.

Why choose our proposal?

We would reiterate to the Q-Exchange judges, that adopting innovation needs funding just as much as new innovations do (Kings Fund).

We are seeking to invest in a project post, for up to one year, to help us build up a critical mass of LIFE QI experts and users within the Trust and those undertaking QSIR training. They will thereafter takeover sustaining and accelerating the pace of spread by continuing to mentor and support others as “business as usual”.

Benefit to Q

We would be able to share our learning from on embedding and using LIFE including the challenges and barriers we have had to overcome. We would share knowledge regionally and nationally.

How you can contribute

  • Alongside coaching from UCLP, we would value support and advice from Q members whose organisations have already embedded LIFE QI as their standard improvement tool.


  1. Thanks for the positive comments, and we will definitely share our learning. When we are experts, we can mentor another organisation setting out on the same journey.

    The type and level of support needed from SeeData will be coordinated via the Life QI team at UCLPartners AHSN. A core component of SeeData's spread and adoption activities is to provide targeted training and guidance for organisations seeking to fully adopt Life QI as part of their QI infrastructure. Support is provided by phone, email, webinars and face-to-face meetings by AHSN and Life QI staff. This will then translate onwards to more personal, one to one, on site coaching for staff, as this has proven more effective in implementing other software systems in recent years.

  2. With 5,000 projects and 12,000 UK users, it certainly seems that LIFE QI could play a key role in improving QI practice.

    And trusts that have built a powerful QI culture seem to find it really valuable. East London FT has 1,000+ members of staff using it!

    The problem of constantly reinventing the QI wheel, and the need to be able to identify similar projects (and people to talk to) before you start a new QI project seems like something that LIFE QI can hugely help with.

    It will be great if you can share your learning from this project.

  3. Interesting proposal, Debbie, and it will be great to see what you learn.

    We are also starting to encourage teams to use LIFE QI to manage and monitor their improvement projects, supported by our QSIR trained "QI Buddies".

    How much support do you have from Seedata for this Q Exchange proposal?




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