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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?

Share, Connect & Improve

We know that innovation and improvement in large and multifaceted healthcare organisations runs the risk of fatigue. However, during COVID-19 Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust Quality Improvement Team have found an exciting method for collaborating with all departments and teams on an innovation platform – Simply Do Ideas; Giving the opportunity for improvement for everyone.

Simply Do Ideas has enhanced the Trust’s existing process of innovation and idea generation, with an increase in ideas by approximately 75% (n=260). These ideas have arisen from various departments and has seen effective and efficient internal collaboration on ideas generated.

Staff who use the platform feel as though

“collaboration is enhanced by easily accessing and engaging with ideas”

This collaboration means we can continually:

  • Make the NHS and Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust a great place to work
  • Improve patient care
  • Improve internal processes and systems

What does your project aim to achieve?

We want our teams to SHARE innovation and improvement ideas, CONNECT with other members of staff and collaborate on ideas with teams. IMPROVE by implementing ideas into practice.

Other objectives are:

  1. Support collaboration –  maintain positive culture and drive for innovation and improvement to improve patient care and health inequalities, processes and systems, and the environment staff work in
  2. Increase collaboration and partnerships by driving a culture of innovation and improvement through virtual collaboration
  3. Learn and share learning about maximising effort and impact of implementing innovative and improvement ideas not only in the ambulance sector but throughout healthcare

Innovation and improvement is for everyone and we want to make this wholly inclusive and prevalent. Every member of staff will have one idea about making a difference to health inequalities or patient care/ safety. Help us to unlock minds and collaborate to make improvements for patients and staff.

How will the project be delivered?

This project will be managed through the core Quality Improvement (QI) Team at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust. The QI team will work alongside stakeholders and partners to help drive innovation and ideas for improvement through to implementation utilising the already embedded Simply Do Ideas platform.

The QI team have seven team members who are QI fellows (staff members on a fellowship programme for 18 months – started October 2020) and 5 core team members to support and manage ideas. This means that QI fellows will have the chance to collaborate with teams they would not normally be involved with as well as learning about and applying QI methodology into practice.

The core QI team will measure the impact of ideas generated and be responsible for delivering value for money and mitigating risk by assessing ideas to invest in.

There is also the opportunity to work with acute trusts throughout this project.

How is your project going to share learning?

This project has the potential to generate some key learning on how to apply innovation and improvement into the ambulance service sector to enable this to become more common place. Furthermore, we hope to discover learning points across the whole healthcare system. Some key learning objectives we hope to achieve are:

  1. Share learning with Q members around taking innovative and improvement ideas through to implementation with a virtual and collaborative approach
  2. Discover a model to maintain innovation and improvements in a multifaceted organisation with a large geographical area
  3. Allow for learning to take place, through idea development, with system partners on how effective collaboration and partnerships can drive improvement and innovation

We intend to share learning in various formats such as:

  • Infographics
  • Newsletters
  • Highlight reports
  • Project evaluation

We aim to share learning with (not exhaustive) Q members, Ambulance Q, Northern Ambulance Alliance and anyone interested in innovation and improvement!

How you can contribute

  • Share you experiences of virtual innovation and improvement
  • Comment on how we can strengthen innovation and improvement to make this for all staff
  • Feedback what you have learnt about implementing innovation and improvement during COVID-19

Plan timeline

31 Mar 2021 Evaluation complete and share learning
30 Apr 2021 Collaborative approach to innovative and improvement idea generation review
31 May 2021 Start of test for change of successful ideas
30 Nov 2021 Virtual Innovation and Improvement idea generation learning event
31 Jan 2022 Sustainability, scale and spread evaluation


  1. The Simply Do Ideas platform has allowed members of staff from all areas of the trust to submit innovative ideas for improvement. The platform allows ease of access to submit ideas efficiently but also look at ideas submitted by other members of staff from all areas of the trust. This allows for a collaborative approach to improvement as staff have the ability to comment and discuss ideas submitted onto the platform.

    The swift reply from the QI team means that staff feel like their ideas are being heard and have a voice towards making improvements within the trust. The platform supports the growth of improvement within the trust.

    Having previously been a QI Fellow I fully believe that a platform such as Simply Do Ideas will allow future fellows to practice and apply QI methodology while collaborating with key stakeholders. The platform provides strong and real idea generation. QI Fellows can work with grassroots staff to build and develop their submitted ideas while embedding a QI approach with those grassroots staff.

  2. Hi there - it might be worth you looking at 2018 Q Exchange winner which has this ideas function, and it's freely available and owned by NHS Staff. It looks like you probably pay for your partnership with Simply Do and the platform is owned by them as a private sector company?

    Hexitime certainly provides the Share and Connect aspects of what you describe, and delivers the Improve aspect by connecting people with the right skills to put ideas into action. Happy to discuss or collaborate!

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