Quality Improvement's greatest hits of 2016

Hannah Price, Head of Quality Improvement

Over the past 12 months, our Quality Improvement (QI) programme has grown from being a few important projects into a full and varied programme comprising more than 10 projects and working with eight dedicated QI Clinical Leads. The work we are doing across the QI programme is reflected in the work of CIRC as a whole, with Clinical Priority and Spotlight projects now including QI elements as standard.  I reflect on just a few of the projects we’ve been working on this year below.

Working with NHS England and Macmillan Cancer Support in 2015 – 2016 we ran the Quality Improvement in the Early Diagnosis of Cancer project which focused on using significant event analysis (SEA) and other QI tools. The key learning captured from the analysis of local cancer SEAs including identifying key themes demonstrating good practice, barriers and enablers; and specific areas where QI can benefit patients. As part of the project we developed a toolkit, which includes a standalone guide on cancer-specific SEA for GPs. More than 130 delegates attended four learning events using the tools developed as part of the programme.

Through our work with the National Diabetes Audit (NDA), the team have developed a toolkit which enables those responsible at practice or network level to improve the care of patients living with diabetes. It uses quality improvement methods and tools to identify areas for improvement, clarify the changes required; and plan and test those changes. The toolkit was viewed more than 700 times in the first month after launch.

Using the tools and methodologies developed though the NDA project, in the latter part of the year we have run four events across Wales, in partnership with the All Wales Diabetes Implementation Group, which offered training for GPs and members of the practice team to learn more about using QI in managing diabetes. The sessions were all well received, with delegates feeding back comments such as ‘I feel enthusiasm to go back to the practice and look at improving processes and change’. The events are being followed by two webinars, the second of which will take place on 12 January 2017, in which the panel will explore how practices have used the QI tools and how their care of patients with diabetes was improved. To find out more or sign up to the webinar please email circ@rcgp.org.uk.

RCGP and Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) have joined forces to produce innovative data reports focusing on prescribing and patient safety, which enable benchmarking and case-finding. Over 100 practices from all four nations of the UK have participated in the successful pilot stage of the projects. This phase is now coming to an end and the reports will be rolled out to all practices in the CPRD network during 2017.

Working with the All Wales Therapeutics and Toxicology Centre, NIHR, PRIME Centre Wales and the University of Manchester we have developed the QI in Patient Safety project, which is based on findings from a research study undertaken to learn about patient safety in primary care. In Spring 2017 you will be able to access our e-Learning modules which will be launched via three workshops, which will focus on integrating patient safety incident reporting into general practice.

Looking to the New Year, we’re launching our new online tool ‘QI Ready’ in Spring 2017. QI Ready will help GPs and practice teams understand QI in general practice and support you through the process. It will comprise a self-accreditation system, e-Learning modules on the core aspects of completing QI; and an Online Learning Network. You can register your interest and sign up for early access to the tool here

We are also in the process of working up a host of new QI projects to start in April 2017, the team are excited to grow and develop the College’s work around QI and supporting you to use tools and methods to improve your working lives as well as the care you provide to your patients. If you’d like to find out more about how to get involved with the work we’re doing please visit our web page, or contact the team circ@rcgp.org.uk.

Note: The Solve your problems using Quality Improvement Tools course is running in Cardiff on 27 January, with a London-based course running on 16 February. Register now for an opportunity to tackle a real live problem facing you or your practice during the course.


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