18 April 2018

Evaluation highlights the benefits of UCLPartners’ Patient Safety Collaborative model

An evaluation of UCLPartners’ Patient Safety Programme, published in BMJ Open, has found that the improvement collaborative model offers multiple benefits for both individual participants and their NHS organisations.

In 2015, UCLPartners set up an improvement collaborative to improve the care for people with Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) and Sepsis. The collaborative brought together health professionals, managers, and support staff from 13 NHS hospitals, to improve the detection and treatment of these life-threatening conditions.

The qualitative evaluation explored the factors that influenced the motivation of those participating in this improvement collaborative.

The evaluation found that the collaborative model itself acted as a facilitator, by:

  • Promoting shared learning across multiple teams and organisations
  • Building staff motivation to participate in Quality Improvement (QI) work
  • Driving the quality improvement agenda locally as participants inspired colleagues, helping to raise awareness of QI

The collaborative also left an important legacy across the region, inspiring further collaborative work to improve care for patients at risk of deterioration.

In order to increase the effectiveness of the collaborative model going forward, the evaluation highlighted the need for greater board-level engagement within participating organizations, which would have a knock-on effect on frontline staff motivation.

Mirza Lalani, a Researcher in Residence at UCL who led the evaluation, said: 

“The findings from this evaluation demonstrate the importance of engaging individuals at all levels of an organisation in a QI programme to ensure frontline staff are sufficiently motivated to participate and implement new ideas and interventions.”

Martin Marshall, UCL Professor of Healthcare Improvement and author of the evaluation, stated: 

“This work shows that collaboratives are an important way of engaging practitioners in QI. The challenging healthcare environment in which we operate demands that we work in a smarter, more efficient way. The collaborative model creates the perfect opportunity for participants and their colleagues to learn valuable QI skills and apply them to their work.

Our ultimate goal is to improve patient outcomes and this work shows that collaboratives are equipping practitioners with an ever-evolving skill set to do just that.”