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Since its co-design in 2015, Q has come a long way. And with over 2,000 members, 2018 is set to be the biggest year for Q so far. What can you expect and look forward to?

Activities and resources

Activities and resources are the way in to Q and most visible offer for members. You’ll see our highly-rated UK-wide networking and development opportunities continue and further expansion in locally led activities.

We’ve got more Q visits lined up, bringing people together to learn from places within and outside health care. We’ve got an exciting programme shaping up for 2018 – watch this space.

Our partnership with Healthcare Improvement Scotland continues to support the QI Connect WebEx series – a great chance to hear from world-leading experts, whether you join the Web-Ex live, or listen to it afterwards. You can register now for talks from Al Mulley, Atul Gawande, Toby Cosgrove and many others.

The UK-wide community events is the place to come to understand the full scale and potential of Q. Our next 400-person event will be in September, with more details to follow. This year, as well as top class networking and learning sessions, we’ll be piloting Q’s big new thing for 2018: the Q Exchange (more below).

It’s the community links that mean Q adds up to more than the sum of its parts (in this case a series of individual activities and events).

Community connecting

It’s the community links that mean Q adds up to more than the sum of its parts (in this case a series of individual activities and events). As the community grows, we’re working hard to make it as easy as possible to make productive personal connections with others.

Q grew fast in 2017. After refreshing the application process in response to member and evaluator feedback, opportunities to join Q will re-open to people from anywhere in the UK from June. We hope you’ll help us in promoting Q to your colleagues.

I don’t know when you last looked at the Q website, but it’s developing and maturing all the time and we’ve got ambitious plans to make it slicker and more helpful during 2018. Check into the site next week as you will be able to make connections via the directory as you do in Facebook; later in the year you’ll be able to personalise what you see and you’ll find it easier to share knowledge and events. Members are increasingly using the Q-municate e-newsletter and Q Twitter account to share their work and keep abreast of what’s happening: how could this help your work for 2018?

A strong message from the co-design phase was that people didn’t want Q to be another short-lived initiative. Just as we encourage you to use 2018 to build the connections that will pay dividends for your work over the years ahead, we’re investing in creating strong foundations for Q overall. Working with our partners, we are expanding support for local activities and embedding local leadership for Q, with members leading work to shape Q in each part of the UK. A group of over 45 members have so far volunteered to be connectors – helping to strengthen the ties and engagement across the community.  Buoyed by the strong support we’re enjoying from our national partners as well as members, we’re developing exciting plans for the longer term future of Q.

While Q could be just a useful professional development network for individuals, there’s also appetite to see what real-world benefits we can create together.

Supporting action

As Q matures, the calls from members to use Q to enable more tangible action are growing. While Q could be just a useful professional development network for individuals, there’s also appetite to see what real-world benefits we can create together.

The Q Lab has attracted particular excitement since the start of Q – perhaps because it’s an attempt to use the expertise and insights of the Q community and others on a larger scale, to enable faster progress on complex challenges that we’re currently wrestling with in relative isolation. We’ve learnt a huge amount together through the first Lab challenge exploring peer support and we’ll be calling on the whole community to help share what we’ve found over the spring and summer. We’ve got funding to push ahead with a second lab project, which we expect will start in the autumn.

The biggest addition to Q this year is the pilot of the Q Exchange. This is a £450,000 funding programme launching in April 2018. You can start thinking now about ideas you’d like to put forward for funding or those you’d like to support. Once the process launches online, you’ll be able to offer advice to all the project ideas and receive feedback on your own bid. There will be a live vote at the Q community event in September with members deciding on 25 ideas to receive up to £30,000 funding.

The Lab and Q exchange are two ways in which we’ll be seeking to surface and use the collective intelligence of the community. Later in 2018, we’ll also be inviting members to volunteer for a Q panel: a systematic way to gain real insight into quality and improvement issues in the health and care system.

Continuous improvements and increasing impact

Q is founded on the principles of learning and improvement. Under the bonnet of the new things you’ll see in 2018 is an ongoing commitment to iterative improvement and stretching for tangible impact.

The independent evaluation team from RAND Europe will be publishing the interim report of their four year evaluation in the spring – we’ll share how we’re responding and invite you to let us know what else we need to do differently. There’ll also be an evaluation of the Q Lab coming out in the summer.

As well as the formal evaluation of Q, we get feedback from Q members all the time, and very much value it. The Q panel mentioned above is also a way we’ll be seeking to ensure our mechanisms for co-design with members evolve and expand appropriately as the size of the community does.

The annual RAND survey will be shifting to reflect increasingly on not just whether Q is being well delivered and well received but the difference it is starting to make. Watch out for the all member survey in the spring.

We’ll be focusing not just on making sure every activity leaves you hungry for more, but that it adds up to something that’s really enabling more joined up and impactful improvement for service users.

We’ve got a busy year ahead, but we won’t let this busy-ness distract us for reflecting on our higher purpose. We’ll be focusing not just on making sure every activity leaves you hungry for more, but that it adds up to something that’s really enabling more joined up and impactful improvement for service users.

I hope this blog gives you a taste of what we’re developing this year with the help of you and our partners. How will you engage in Q in 2018 to help us together make the most of this once in a generation opportunity?

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