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The Q Improvement Lab’s mission is to explore ways to build a more sustainable health and care system in the UK for now and the future. In a stressed and pressured sector, the Lab will provide time, space and opportunity to tackle complex problems.

labs-main-subpageEmerging from Q, the Lab will bring people together to explore, develop, test and spread ideas that can significantly improve health and care for people in the UK.

Our approach

We will blend best practice from improvement science with methods for social change and innovation that have been developed as part of the global labs movement. We believe we can only make progress on some of the most challenging issues facing the health and care sector today by taking a truly collaborative approach, including:

  • working with patients and the public to ensure that services meet their needs, recognising that they are the experts in their own lives
  • working across professions, so that we are developing solutions that take account of all aspects of a patient’s care
  • working across geographical boundaries so that we share learning throughout England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales
  • working across organisations and sectors so that we harness a range of perspectives and consider all aspects of the services we are seeking to improve.

The challenges the Lab will tackle will be hard, confronting issues where there is unlikely to be a simple, clear solution. The Lab will draw on the best of what is known and will aim to go beyond the current evidence-base, helping people seek innovative solutions that work in the complexity of the real world.

Providing space

The Lab will provide space – physical space, virtual space and head space – for people to work together on high priority challenges that many stakeholders want to solve. There will be a small team who will support the process and will invest time in curating and sharing the findings, as well as seeking to influence at a wider system-level, building capacity for change across the sector.

Who is involved?

The Lab is led by the Health Foundation and supported by NHS Improvement. Find out more about the team working on the Lab.

When is the Lab launching?

The first pilot Lab will launch in spring 2017.

Q members voted on the first Lab topic, which will be ’empowering people to manage their own health and care needs’. The Lab team will bring together Q members, experts and stakeholders for a workshop in March to explore the topic further.

If the pilot is successful, the long-term aim is to have a small network of Labs across the UK.

If you’d like to get involved in the Lab and contribute to the topic, get in touch.

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