We know it can be hard to kick start any improvement project, so we have shared a variety of resources, including documents, links and suggestions, which can assist you in your improvement journey:

  1. What are we trying to accomplish?

Project management

Life QI – Life QI is based on the IHI’s Model for Improvement and allows frontline staff to plan, monitor and manage improvement projects, as well as connect with other members of the QI community. Essentially, Life QI contains everything you need to run your QI project in one place.

There is a learning centre for Life QI that will help you navigate the platform. Here you can find various articles and tutorials on elements of the Model for Improvement such as creating driver diagrams and charts, information on measurement and collecting and utilising data. Find out more here.

Identifying problems

Cause and effect template – A tool for organizing a group’s current knowledge regarding a problem or issue. Useful for recording ideas in a brainstorming session (also called a fishbone diagram or an Ishikawa diagram).

Stakeholder and user involvement

Stakeholder analysis template – A stakeholder analysis enables you to identify everyone who needs to be involved in a change project. The more important the stakeholder is to the success of the project, the more time and resources you need to devote to maintaining their involvement and commitment.

Mapping the process

Driver diagram template – A diagram that organises the theory of improvement for a project and thus provides a learning structure for the project. The structure connects aims, measures and creates a theory-based organisation of the changes

  1. How will we know that a change is an improvement?

Measurement for improvement

PDSA form Template – Use the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) Worksheet to help your team document a test of change. Fill out one PDSA Worksheet for each test you conduct. Your team will test several different changes, and each change will go through several PDSA cycles. Keep a file (either electronic or hard copy) of all PDSA Worksheets for all changes your team tests. Here is a PDSA form example.

Measure plan form – This form documents measure names, operational definitions and data collection guidance for each improvement project measure.

Measurement dashboard – Once you have completed the measure plan form for each measure, you can transfer this information into your measurement dashboard. This is a useful tool to document all your measures in one place.

  1. What change can we make that will result in improvement?

Thinking creatively

Six thinking hats – The Six Thinking Hats are flexible and adaptable to any situation, providing a systematic approach to collaboration, problem solving, strategic planning, and subject or idea evaluation, and much more. It allows entire teams to look at all sides of an issue thoroughly and without confrontation, which is one of the approaches most important attribute, all in a fraction of the time which other traditional methods may take.

Snorkelling – Snorkelling is a method of generating improvement ideas from frontline staff by setting them a design challenge.

Recommended online resources

Institute for Healthcare Improvement open school – extensive set of resources on the IHI’s Model for Improvement, measures, tools, improvement stories, patient safety and more. You must register to access parts of the website, including trainings, however, there are free sample courses on improving capability, patient safety and leadership, which you will be able to try out! More resources can be found here.

NHS Improvement – includes a variety of papers, case-studies, articles and tools related to QI work. Resources on various topics are found here, and the Improvement Hub is located here, where you’ll find tools resources and ideas on topics such as quality improvement, patient safety, finance and use of resources, patient experience and involvement and culture and leadership, as well as more specialised topics such as  maternity and neonatal, mental health, cancer resources and so on.

Quality Improvement Zone – countless resources available here, including: QI tools, topics, and news, the improvement journey, e-learning, measurement, guides and frameworks and so much more!


  • Emma Mordaunt, Improvement Facilitator
  • Valentina Karas, Improvement Manager – Patient Safety Programme

To find out more about our work, contact