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Making space for ‘Place’: supporting system-wide improvement through digital spaces

We want to explore digital ways to connect improvement across Bradford (our Place) by creating digital 'spaces' that help us to overcome access barriers, develop our common approach & build engagement.

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  • Winning idea
  • 2022

Meet the team


  • Chris Hunt - Head of Kaizen Promotion Office, BDCT
  • Claire Reed - Kaizen Promotion Office manager, BDCT

What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to the theme?

Increasingly, we need to be able to take our place-based improvement efforts outside of the walls of our Trust and into a wider, more complex system involving primary care, social care and the voluntary sector.  We find that different organisations have varying degrees of maturity and can tend to be ‘siloed’ in their own technologies and improvement methods.  We therefore see two main challenges to address:

  1.  lack of common improvement approach
  2. absence of an ‘accessible to all’ online space where everyone can view information and work together efficiently and collaboratively.

This project will seek to understand how we can use digital technology to foster cross-system collaboration, build a simple, common approach to improvement, share information & learnings and provide practical and timely support.

Our project connects strongly to the Q Exchange themes by exploring how improvement and digital can combine to support service change and system-wide collaboration.

What does your project aim to achieve?

We aim to provide a simple, easy way to improve patient journeys and experiences without borders, silos and organisational limits getting in the way. By creating digital ‘working’ space in partnership with Bradford South Community Partnership, Primary Care Network & Bevan House wellbeing Centre Bradford, we will focus on:

  • Improving MDT quality improvement across the local area
  • Improve communication and working relationships between Bevan House & MyWellbeing IAPT service

We will do this by:

  • Develop an online space to break down stigma/enigma around QI, particularly for teams with little knowledge or training
  • Develop introduction to improvement in a collaborative and easy way
  • Use that space to develop a common approach and deliver a targeted improvement project
  • Build learning around how to improve collaboratively and effectively using a digital platform
  • Identify the conditions for success which are needed to achieve cross-system improvement
  • Share this learning widely and consider how to spread at scale

How will the project be delivered?

The multi-agency project team in Bradford has chosen an area of high priority for improvement.  Using the established Bradford District Care Trust Way improvement approach, we will ensure that the project has clear metrics and objectives to meet the above aims.  The project team will consist of:

  • Clinical leadership
  • Improvement coaching from BDCT’s Kaizen Promotion Office
  • Project management support
  • Technical support from improvement software provider (Changeway)

We will work closely with stakeholders and people who use our services to ensure that we develop solutions that ‘work’ within our local context.

An outline plan is shown below:

  1. Establish project and work closely with Changeway to develop an accessible digital platform
  2. Develop easy to access powerful tools and support traditionally only available to QI teams
  3. Deliver the improvement project working with multi-agency partners and evaluate impact
  4. Capture learning through a sustainable platform and develop wider approach for cross-system improvement and collaboration

How is your project going to share learning?

This project should unlock considerable learning which is relevant to Q community members involved in cross-system improvement and who seek to learn how digital can enhance this.  We will design a project that is focused and deliverable, through which we can develop principles which apply for all cross-system improvement programmes.  We will be transparent about our approach, project progress and the challenges and opportunities we uncover.

We will:

  • Share our project design through Q Community networks e.g. Special Interest Groups.
  • Share ‘snapshots’ of our learning e.g. QI Community on Twitter
  • Contribute to local forums for improvement and system working
  • Hold open online forums periodically to demonstrate the digital solutions and the advantages we find

How you can contribute

  • Give us some feedback on the idea
  • Tell us where other local systems are exploring ways to collaborate together
  • Point us to any resources that might support our work
  • Suggest ways we could measure impact and gather insight

Plan timeline

5 Sep 2022 Project set-up: team, plan, governance & evaluation
26 Sep 2022 Develop digital platform and Improvement learning materials
7 Nov 2022 Delivery of improvement projects with partners using platform (6 months)
8 Nov 2022 Ongoing capture of learning & digital development (6 months)
8 May 2023 Evaluation and plan for wider spread across local area


  1. Guest

    This is a great idea and please to see the localized and partnership ethos behind this so impact and can be seen and felt on the ground by those will access services here. Agree with many of the comments made by colleagues from across the place and system above. Can see this being a good vehicle for testing new approaches on a continual basis and tackling difficult health challenges with specific communities of interest. Where the opportunity exists, it would be good to consider if a citizens QI programme can be developed as an extension to this work (if it offers value)

  2. Great idea - look forward to seeing how this develops.  Good luck!

  3. This is a great idea and has the potential to support MDT improvements nationally ensuring improvements are aligned and collaborative.  Good luck!

  4. Guest

    sasha karakusevic 1 month ago

    Really interesting.  We are doing a lot of work on how to increase physical activity and connection at a place level is clearly essential.  Local solutions that can interface with other systems could be really important so this could work well.


    1. Guest

      Sue Lacey Bryant 1 month ago

      Really like the focus of this work. As you identify the conditions for success which are needed to achieve cross-system improvement, please please share what doesn't work!


  5. Guest

    Claire Bevan 1 month, 1 week ago

    This is so needed and will be such a beneficial project - really interested to receive updates on your journey and learning - good luck

    1. Thanks, Claire!  Agree.  (And please feel free to vote for us! ;-) )

  6. Guest

    Grainne Eloi 1 month, 1 week ago

    What a fabulous idea, totally agree this could be a game changer!

  7. Guest

    Elizabeth Bradbury 1 month, 1 week ago

    I like this ideas, its innovative and definitely aligns to the current health and care digital transformation agenda. Pleased to see WYATT mentioned as there is already a strong learn and share ethos there.

    Wondered if experts by experience who are involved in your work will be able to access some of the material, contribute and indeed lead elements?

    This also sounds a great way to convene, problem solve and connect with people outside your footprint, and to create the networks and forums for people to sustain their energy and commitment to continuous QI.

    Understand this is a phased innovation and you cant do everything at once...wondered if you'd considered how this could support the QI element of professional revalidation?

    Good luck!

    1. Thanks for you comments and support Elizabeth, indeed this has so much potential and this is the beauty of such a platform that we can collaborate without the usual/traditional restrictions. So many other areas we could look at too like your idea of revalidation. Early stages but keen to explore all possibilities.

  8. This project is a great exploration to removing barriers to system wide improvement. By creating the digital learning and collaborating space with shared ownership rather than a more traditional experience of the biggest partner rolling out what they use internally will really foster the spirit of collaboration.

    1. Absolutely Kate, it is really important for us that this is a tool to break down barriers and obstacles for people so that the focus is on collaboration and improving, that is what is important. Thank you for your support.

  9. Guest

    This project has inspiration attached to it; to facilitate the collaboration of those directly involved with continuous improvement within a digital space is a fantastic idea. A means of maximising collaborating on our use of resources is something we should embrace. System wide improvement - sharing the language - sharing the philosophies - growing  and learning together- I love it!


    1. Thanks for your support Liz, we think there is huge potential and always great to get support from all professions across the sector, pharmacy being a huge area of potential and ripe for this type of platform.

  10. Hi 👋🏻 Chios, Emma, Richard, Chris, love the idea and it’s very similar to mine for East London, would love to collaborate!

    1. Hi Joanne, would be great to connect and collaborate.

    2. Thanks a mil Joanne for the shout out.

      We’ve reached out to our Place & System partners and it has been inspiring to hear that there’s an appreciation of the value of this work and the benefits to be gained through coproduction, partnership working and maximising the resources we’ve got to address the inequalities that exist within the communities we serve.

      I agree there are similarities with your project Embedding community participation in meaningful transformation for improving population health&well-being | Q Community. We are keen to collaborate with others to share our learning and build on knowledge to be gained.

  11. Guest

    This is brilliant and a real pleasure to support  - this will generate real change and improvements

    1. Thanks Ash for the feedback, we are excited about our idea and hopeful we go all the way

  12. This sounds like a great project and will really help to deliver visibility across the system. Also really like the idea of having a standard improvement approach as it really does cut down on variation, improves efficiency and helps to implement lasting improvement.

    1. Thanks for the support, Mark.  Glad you've picked up that our focus is both on how the work is done (common improvement methods) and where it is done (a digital platform that allows highly effective collaboration, sharing and learning).

  13. Great idea and i'd be really interested in your learning,impact, and results.

    1. Thanks for the support Chris. Hopefully you can help us think about our impact evaluation plan especially as we plan to share our learning widely.

  14. Guest

    Keir Shillaker 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    This sounds like a really exciting concept, and something to learn from across our wider West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, particularly in improving joint working on Community Mental Health Transformation between our NHS Trusts, Primary Care and VCSE colleagues

    1. Thanks for your support Keir, we see the potential for this at place, system, north, south, infinity and beyond! That is the beauty of a digital platform, boundaries become a thing of the past

  15. Brilliant idea, supportive of so many things we are trying to achieve in Bd&C through our shared strategy and building on our string partnership working.

    Will be fantastic alongside our QI work at a system level

    1. Thanks for the support, John - and agree that in order for a shared strategy and a partnership mentality to be effective, organisations across the system need both common, intuitive ways of working and an effective (digital) 'place' to do the work.

  16. Guest

    Therese Patten 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    The NHS and Care sector have never been more challenged as we come out of the ravages of COVID-19 which has impacted disproportionately on our most vulnerable - our only way forward is through partnership and using our resources to maximum effect this project is a brilliant idea of how we can come together and do is a must do!!

    1. Having the support of the Trust's CEO will undoubtedly give the project a real boost, Therese - thank you!  It will help ensure it delivers valuable outcomes and learnings.

    2. Thanks Therese, you are so right. Covid, if nothing else has shown us we are better and stronger together, and anything that helps us to collaborate and improve together is a winner in my eyes. Thank you for the support.

  17. Guest

    James Drury 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    The timing of this project is spot on.

    Two years ago we would have struggled to blend on-line and in-person collaboration, but we've all learnt so much in the last few years about how to incorporate technology in our day to day interactions, which means that user acceptance should now be much faster.

    Would be great to share learning from this project about incorporating co-production with the public - e.g. what works to support digital inclusion in improvement?

    1. James, indeed! For all it's downsides, Covid has moved us forward with technology, collaboration and how we embrace both. This is a really exciting opportunity for to develop this further, build stronger relationship, learn together and co design even greater service for our people. #ActasOne!

  18. Guest

    Catherine Hughes 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    This is an exciting project! Connecting people across our place with their different perspectives of health and care is fundamental to delivering our transformation ambitions for integrated care. Having a digital platform to accelerate the connection across boundaries and make improvement methods accessible and usable for all will be transformation in itself. Such potential for Bradford District and Craven and beyond.

    1. It is so exciting! And being on this journey with so many like minded colleagues fills me with joy and enthusiasm. Great to have your support Catherine!

  19. Guest

    Louise Clarke 1 month, 2 weeks ago

    As a GP I absolutely welcome this approach to deliver improvements through co-design by multiple stakeholders and service-users.

    So much opportunity in this bid to learn and grow together across our partnership, and in doing this to provide the best care for the population we serve.

    1. Absolutely Louise, the people who deliver and use our services are the most important assets we have, enabling them to be involved is at the very heart of this. Really looking forward to working with you.

    2. Great points, Louise.  There was lots of focus on co-design in today's The Big Conversation organised by Helen Bevan of NHS Horizons.

  20. Guest

    As the Place Based Lead of  the Health and Care Partnership across Bradford District and Craven I am really excited by the potential of this  project to accelerate the work of our Place based improvement and transformation teams as we collectively strive to integrate care delivery seamlessly   around meeting the needs of our citizens, irrespective of which provider, discipline or sector we come from 'Acting As One'. This will be a powerful proof of concept with huge scalability potential not just hear across Bradford and District but beyond.

    1. Thank you Mel and couldn't agree more! Individually we're all great, together we are amazing. Having a digital platform that can seamlessly transcend our boundaries will be another huge step forward for us as a place on this exciting journey we're all on, and potential for so much more too! Thank you for the support.

  21. I really like this idea, sharing a common digital space across different organisations in a system is a real challenge, and it would be really useful for document sharing and keeping all the relevant information about initiatives in one space. It's a challenge we have in our area, so we'd be really interested in learning about your developments.


    1. Thank you Clare, the struggle is so real! We can't even decide between Zoom and Teams to just talk to each other sometimes. Hopefully we can start to overcome some of these barriers. We would love to hear some of your thought and challenges as we work through this. Feel free to get in touch.

    2. Thanks Clare.  Glad you see the value in the project.  Digital can open up lots of possibilities to collaborate, but you're right that often access / permissions can hinder our work together, or we find it hard to make sense of files 'uploaded and dumped' out of context.  It's a problem worth solving, in our view.

  22. Very interested in the potential results of this - we have been exploring ideas for something similar in primary care / care homes in Salford for some time, but so far haven't ID'd any promising 'off the shelf' solutions that would work at a system level

    1. Thank you Nadine, I think it's a very common struggle that connects us all! And you're right, nothing ticks all the boxes, which then by the very nature of having to use multiple tools, causes more confusion... Hopefully we can start to tackle some of these challenges, would be great to hear some of your experiences.

    2. Thanks for your interest, Nadine! I think most people would agree with you... Here's hoping we are down-selected and able to run the programme and share the findings.  Would be great if you wanted to follow progress and provide helpful inputs/feedback along the way!

  23. Guest

    Jon Armstrong 3 months, 2 weeks ago

    Excited to support this valuable learning opportunity and to share and contribute to the development of new approaches to cross-system improvement

  24. I agree a total game changer. The prospects of coproducing an interactive, interoperable collaborative platform is exciting and novel. Any feedback, input and /or any opportunities to learn from others and collaborate to enable the development of a pragmatic solution would be appreciated.

  25. Guest

    Claire Reed 3 months, 3 weeks ago

    Really keen to be part of this idea.  Could be a game changer for QI at a system level.

    1. Completely agree, Claire.  Would be great to build on the existing links & networks you have to tackle an issue that's really relevant for BDCT locally, but also has applicability for cross-system improvement at all levels.

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