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To enable coaches to connect, network and build relationships to support a culture of continuous improvement.

We are seeking to provide the following to promote and support the improvement activity of our coaches. • Opportunity to meet, network and share learning • Strengthening cross departmental/site working, to enhance improvement work and culture • Sharing lessons – success and failures • Connecting to projects and trust wide improvement priorities • Continuous learning in the form of master classes and to enhance capacity providing staff investment

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  • Idea
  • 2018

Meet the team: Connecting coaches for improvement? “Together everyone can achieve more.”


  • Victoria Newlands-Bentley
  • Lara Ritchie


Across our Trust we have trained over 100 Improvement Coaches who are committed to improving care with patients.  As individuals they display passion, drive and commitment to working with patients to co-design better services but we know they will achieve more together if we can strengthen their connections.

Each coach has a variety of skills, diverse professional background and upholds a role and position within the organisation or with our partners.

Once the programme of learning is finished there are key problems for the improvement coaches who enable them to continue lines of communication support each other and engage with service led improvement work. The key challenges to address are:

  • Systematic follow up
  • Understanding improvement activity
  • Linking to trust wide improvement priorities
  • Strengthening sustainability and spread
  • Personal visibility as an improvement coach and their improvement successes
  • Maintaining links with colleagues who have changed roles, moved organisations and wish to continue the improvement relationship
  • Providing a platform to provide continuous development of improvement coaches and recruit staff to the organisation

Benefits and outcomes:

  • Improved and sustainable outcomes to enhance patient care, safety and experience
  • Improvement champions in all areas of the trust
  • Engagement of the majority
  • Integrating improvement into business as usual
  • Strengthening the trust’s improvement culture
  • Vanguard organisation for improvement £

How will we know a change had been an improvement?

To make sure we know which of our interventions has been successful, we will measure the following:

  1. Number of active coaches in the network
  2. Case studies of outcomes and learning from project work
  3. Number of improvement projects on QI Life
  4. Number of publications/ posters/ conference talks our coaches take part in
  5. Number of randomised coffee trails
  6. Attendees at network events
  7. Participants in  study visits, learning events
  8. Applicants and participants (internal and external inc. patients) attending Coaching and Leading Programme
  9. Number of coaches who go on to take part in roles that include improvement activity

During the Coaching and Leading for Improvement programme, coaches hear from patients who have worked with us to develop new service models and improve current pathways. This provides a personal and qualitative perspective of the pathway from beginning end with the added benefit of an emotional map.  This in turn enhances learning, provides tools and techniques to co-design with patients and demonstrate that they are dedicated to working with patients as partners through their improvement activities.

We propose to harness their collective energy for change by connecting our coaches to:

  • patients and citizens
  • each other
  • other members of the Q community

Through connecting around shared interests and priorities, we hope to promote a culture of building co-designed improvements into every day work, exchange learning, provide peer support and inspire each other to do more around improvement activities.  Through our links with our Strategic Lay Council we would also look to promote partnerships for our improvement work.

How you can contribute

  • Connecting to members for the Q community and wider learning:
  • Promoting the connections between our coaches will help to maximise their impact and we would look to do this by running randomised coffee trials, lunch and learn sessions (to share coaches co-designed improvement successes), network events and group attendances at Q events.
  • Our coaches would value the chance to connect to Q community members, both within our organisation and across the whole community to share for learning, collaborate and inspire each other. There are many ways we could support this including virtual connections, cross site visits and connecting around project through other platforms e.g. Q community events and QI Life.
  • In addition, the wider learning around how to build a strong local improvement network, connected to the wider Q community will be invaluable for all organisations.
  • How you can contribute?
  • Please volunteer to be connected to our coaches. We would be delighted to hear how we can link people together around shared interests and challenges. Let us know if you would be interested in taking part in any of the following:
  • Virtual randomised coffee trials
  • Shadowing opportunities
  • Paired learning projects
  • Hosting or taking part in study visits between our services
  • Linking around common projects (digitally or face to face)
  • We would love to collaborate with peer support and co-design based work but please let us know any other topics/ service areas that would be of particular interest.


  1. Guest

    Mark McCrory 4 years ago

    This looks like a great project. All the research shows that organisations invest heavily in development programmes - that this project  focuses on what happens after the programme of learning for these 100 coaches is so important in bringing about real change and improvement. Key issues include management support, peer support and opportunity to practice - your project will address each of these. Good luck with it.

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