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This programme has now ended

Newham Quality Improvement Champions programme

From May 2018-2019 we collaborated with Newham CCG to upskill a diverse cohort of staff in the borough with skills to lead Quality Improvement (QI).

The QI Champions programme has embedded improvement skills amongst staff in the borough, disseminating knowledge to all 49 GP practices, creating a sustainable approach to improvement.

More about this work

Who was involved

The programme supported 11 ‘QI Champions’ comprising: a nurse; three senior GP partners; a pharmacist; business and practice managers, and commissioning managers, teaching them the philosophy and methods of the science of improvement and building a culture of shared learning in the community.

How it worked

Champions received training in five classroom sessions focusing on: leadership; facilitation skills development; principles of human factors and improvement science methodology.

After each session they shared their learning at existing cluster and network meetings of between six and eight local practices, enabling larger scale collaboration to undertake QI projects. Each Champion also received group or 1:1 mentoring throughout the programme.

Each Champion led a QI project in their place of work. QI projects conducted focussed on improving the quality and safety of care for patients, stemming from local and national priorities. These included:

  • Improving End of Life Care and ensuring all palliative patients and families/carers were involved in ensuring ‘real time’ care plans were in place
  • Monitoring high risk drugs
  • Reducing inappropriate secondary care referrals for gynaecology
  • Increasing uptake of cervical cytology screening
  • Addressing unmet needs and reducing frequent (inappropriate) attendance at GP practices
  • Improving care for vulnerable patients, specifically those with mental health related illness and dementia
  • Reducing inefficiencies in bulk buying schemes for practices/releasing practice staff time


The Newham QI Champions programme has:

  • Equipped staff across multiple practices, from a range of disciplines, with leadership skills and knowledge of Improvement Science
  • Given staff the confidence and capability to instigate and lead improvement projects in their practices and respective organisations
  • Created a sustainable improvement model across all primary care teams in the borough.

Since participating in the QI collaborative four individuals involved have gone on to secure leadership roles in local GP provider organisations, working to support their strategic vision across Newham’s 49 member practices. The programme is accredited by the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Meet the champions

Watch video interviews with some of the champions:

Programme leadership

Dr Zenobia Sheikh is a GP with expertise in complex clinical care, new models of Integrated Care and Quality Improvement (QI).

Since 2017 she has worked to strengthen relationships across professional disciplines and embed a culture of collaborative working within Newham.

She directly supported NHS England’s successful Releasing Time for Care initiative, the development of an Improvement Academy and led the Newham QI Champions’ Programme 2018-19, including providing a level of mentoring or coaching to each of the champions.