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What is the positive change that has emerged through new collaborations or partnerships during Covid-19 that your project is going to embed?

COVID-19 resulted in widespread impact across healthcare, for example staffing issues, surgical prioritisation, and temporary suspension of a large amount of surgery. We have seen first hand how useful hospitals have found being part of a network. For example,  CholeQuIC-ER sites worked with their colleagues in other hospitals to gain an insight into how they were delivering care to gallstone patients and what learnings and best practice they could share.

What does your project aim to achieve?

We want to establish a long-term sustainable network for those interested in QI within surgery.  Our network will aim to share best practice about QI across surgery, and empower members of the surgical care team to improve the quality and reduce the variability of patient outcomes from surgical care.

With access to over 26,000 surgeons and dentists and new associate members from the surgical care team, we are ideally placed to support the creation of a surgical QI network.

We would provide the initial supporting architecture for a network to start-up and establish, before refocusing our assistance to providing ongoing QI advisory and coordinating support as the network grows and matures.

By running the project we would help develop understanding of the quality of health and care, make health and care services more sustainable, and it improve care for surgical patients with the aim of achieving healthy lives for all.

How will the project be delivered?

The RCS England would continue to support this activity through funding the employment of a dedicated Senior Project Manager in its QI team and investing substantial Director level senior management time.

We will run 4 design workshops with RCS members. To create the charter and other network documents that set the network’s focus and direction.

We would recruit 4 network leaders and run training sessions which would aim to support the spread of QI knowledge, raising the profile of QI and encouraging participation. The leaders would be funded 1/4 PA per month, this enables leadership and creates accountability. Potential benefits include the spread of QI knowledge to other staff from the person who has been trained/is involved, raises their organisational QI profile, possibly supports their staff to help meet their QI requirements for revalidation

One QI evaluation advisor would be funded to help the network set their evalulation plan.

How is your project going to share learning?

Following our initial five Health Foundation funded QI in Surgery focus groups, a specially invited QI in Surgery co-design group met at the RCS to explore what we would like to achieve through a network, and to understand how we would know when it had been a success.

If our bid is successful, we will be accountable for our success in delivering our project aims to the RCS England’s Research and Quality Committee, and through this Committee to the RCS Council.  We will also provide regular update on our progress and a final report that will be shared on Q and published on the the RCS England’s website.

How you can contribute

  • The networker - Make introductions that might be helpful for other Q members or even beyond the community.

Plan timeline

4 Apr 2021 Identify “QI in surgery network leaders”.
6 Jun 2021 Coaching and supporting session for leaders
4 Jul 2021 4 x design workshops with RCS members
11 Jul 2021 Launch event - learning event 1
3 Oct 2021 National/local workshops for those interested in joining the network
3 Apr 2022 Final event to celebrate successes
31 May 2022 Evaluation report


  1. Hi Sheena,

    I wonder if it would be helpful to - within this idea - make reference to the more overarching project: 'Scoping a quality improvement network in surgery', so that people can give their helpful critique within that context. My presumption here is that this is the deep dive testing of how the network might work within one surgical speciality. Have I read this correctly?

    Best wishes,




    1. Hi Pete,
      Thank you for your comment. I had a few draft ideas but have decided to go with the “Scoping a Quality Improvement network in surgery” as my final proposal and ideally we would like this scoping exercise be cross-specialty rather than focus on one specialty.
      Thanks again for all your helpful comments.
      Many thanks, Sheena

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