National context and quality improvement

Since 2013, one of the key lines of enquiry within the CQC’s well-led domain has been whether providers have robust processes for learning, continuous improvement and innovation. Through systematically embedding Quality Improvement KMPT seeks to provide assurance to CQC we are aware of our areas for improvement and have plans to address these.

Furthermore the NHS Long Term plan is committed to the NHS developing their improvement capabilities, including Quality Improvement skills to improve quality and efficiency and reduce unwarranted variations in performance.

The Kings Fund  defines Quality Improvement as a systematic approach to improving health services based on iterative change, continuous testing and measurement, and empowerment of frontline teams continuously striving to improve how they work. Leaders should support the development of processes, systems and cultures to deliver high-quality care on a continuous basis. 

The Health Foundation  articulates building an organisation-wide approach to improvement is a journey that can take several years and an essential early step is securing the support and commitment of the board for a long-term programme.

Below is the Health Foundation’s Improvement Journey which KMPT are committed to adhere to as part of our Quality Improvement approach;

The improvement journey

Developing an organisational approach to improvement in health is a journey that can take several years. Here are six key steps:

1. Assessing readiness 

How ready is your organisation for improvement. In terms of it's learning climate, infrastructure, governance and leadership? Tools are available to help you assess your readiness and address any gaps 

2. Securing Board support

The Board must be confident in and committed t the organisations improvement strategy and to building the skills and infrastructure needed. A strong clinical voice at Board level can help make improvements a priority. 

3. Securing wider organisational buy-in and creating a vision

Staff at all levels need the permission and time to engage in improvement. Consider building in stags, starting with enthusiast then encouraging others to follow. 

4. Developing improvement skills and infrastructure

Teams will need the capability and resources to support improvement Make sure you have the data and systems needed to measure impact and teams have the necessary skills to use them. 

5. Aligning activity

As the improvement programme grows, aligning activity with the organisation's overall strategy is key. Making sure that clinical, managerial and corporate teams are pulling in the same direction should help overcome barriers to improvement. 

6. Sustaining an organisation-wide approach

It takes time for an improvement programme to embed. Maintaining momentum takes as much effort and skill as getting started. The Board must stay focused and supportive in the face of external pressures, despite the uneven pace of improvement.