24 September 2018

Improving People Participation in QI – a trust-wide initiative

Jamie Stafford – Improvement Advisor

In this blog, Improvement Advisor Jamie Stafford describes the initiative launched by ELFT to maximise people participation across the organisation. 

In the four years I’ve been involved in QI project teams, it’s been very apparent that we’ve made our most transformative and meaningful improvements when project teams have included staff, service users and carers. Not only have I witnessed the richness and diversity of perspectives that this enables, but also feel that strong service user and carer engagement is an indicator that we’re focussing on the right quality issues in the first place.

With this in mind, I’m really excited to announce that we’re initiating a project to improve people participation in QI. This programme of work will include a combination of local and organisation-wide changes. Through collaboration with the People Participation team, and our service users and carers, we hope to build upon the fantastic participation and QI activity already happening across the trust.

Through a series of engagement events with staff and service users this year we have begun to explore what has been working well and also what have been some of the barriers to good people participation in QI. In addition to having good processes in place that support involvement, it was clear (from space) that having the right culture and leadership style is vital.

Click on this image to find a collection that includes these role play videos

As the parody video our service users created of a ‘QI meeting gone wrong’ painfully highlights, this means engaging with people as equals.


We should aspire, therefore, not only to increase the number of projects that have service users as team members, but also to make sure that we’re engaging thoughtfully.

Some recent examples of projects that have done this successful are the Woodbury Ward physical health project, Bridging the Bedford gap, and the Isle of Dogs CMHT Reshaping Community Services project. For tips on ways to get people involved in QI work I’d also recommend Su Goulding’s recent blog.

In the coming months you should notice some changes in the way we initiate, support and lead QI projects, and I hope you will be able to support this in your own area. Furthermore, if you are considering starting some Quality Improvement work soon, I would challenge you to consider how you might involve service users and carers in the conversation from the very beginning. Are you focussing on a quality issue that is important to everybody? How do you know? And what opportunity might this create to bring people together?

Here is how you can get involved >>

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