The University of Southampton

HLTH6119 Leading Service Development for Quality Improvement

Module Overview

This five day module focuses on the improvement of client or staff experience and outcome based upon the improvement and design of services. Students are expected to engage critically and imaginatively with a real project associated with improvement in their workplace. This five day module is followed by a designated period of stakeholder engagement appropriate to the nature of the project.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This unit is designed to allow you to critically examine the social and organisational factors that underpin service development and to advance your strategic thinking and leadership in relation to developing services / practice. The module has an important focus on determining the impact of change upon services users/patients/carers, staff and organisational systems.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse the complexities of service development / innovation and address issues of sustainability;
  • Critically evaluate the approaches / techniques used to plan, lead, implement and evaluate service developments;
  • Select an area of practice/service for development;
  • Critically analyse whether or not the selected area of practice/ service is ready for development;
  • Design a development plan for a specified area of practice/ service;
  • Test out the feasibility of your specified service development plan with peers.


Underpinning this module is international research & development activity conducted by Faculty staff including, Richard Giordano, Mary Gobbi, Peter Griffiths, Judith Lathlean, Andree Le May, Carl May, Catherine Pope. In this module, there is a focus on the impact of service development on patient well-being/ health outcomes and experience. Service development, re-design and improvement is a complex social and organisational process that needs to account for human factors and trends within the workforce, as well as population health needs and fiscal. The content of this research-led unit acknowledges this and centres on the following: • The diffusion of innovation/ innovation journeys • Bate et al’s (2007) 7 essential factors for service delivery innovation/ delivery 1. Dealing with complexity, non-linearity and unpredictability in service development 2. Creating ‘enabling’ structures and systems 3. Navigating the politics of innovation and securing stakeholder engagement 4. Building the innovation/ development network 5. Creating a learning process 6. Changing behaviour and culture 7. Leadership • Approaches to developing services (e.g. evidence based practice approaches, change management techniques, process consultancy, action learning, soft systems methodology) • Service evaluation (formative and summative) techniques • Techniques for disseminating findings / managing knowledge • Appreciating human factors and safety issues in the design of innovation • Writing a case for service improvement and its implementation All learning outcomes are assessed in the assignment detailed below. The extent to which the module learning outcomes should be addressed, will be determined by the nature of the project. Formative peer group discussions/tutorials support the assessment process. The module presumes prior knowledge related to theories of leadership and change management. It brings together the knowledge and skills acquired in previous modules to apply them upon to a designated service improvement or innovation.

Special Features

For features such as field trips, information should be included as to how students with special needs will be enabled to benefit from this or an equivalent experience. Description Students must engage in a real improvement or change project for this module. The project must be approved by their manager or their sponsor for whom support for the conduct of the project will be essential. They will be expected to consult with key stakeholders to realise the project design/ Students require designated (12 hours) release from their workplace practice to do the required consultations. Where possible, and commensurate with the scope of their professional role, engagement with service users/patients and the wider public would be expected. Given the nature of the project, it may not be possible to completely anonymise the organisation concerned, in these circumstances, students should produce a disclaimer to this effect. Naturally every reasonable effort should be anonymise the organisation/staff /persons concerned

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

A variety of approaches will be used including lectures, facilitative group discussion, e-learning, self-directed study, learning contracts, feedback from unit co-ordinators / peers. Students will participate in a peer discussions and tutorials to test their ideas and gain knowledge from others. The module focuses on developing a temporary ‘community of learning practice’ utilising Blackboard as a resource repository.

Completion of assessment task314
Project supervision1
Preparation for scheduled sessions14
Wider reading or practice120
Practical classes and workshops3
Total study time488

Resources & Reading list

Kanter, R.M., Stein, B.A., and Jick, T.D. (1992). The challenge of organizational change: how people experience it and manage it.. 

Assessing organisational readiness for change: use of diagnostic analysis prior to the implementation of a multidisciplinary assessment for acute stroke care. ,2 , pp. 21.

Pawson, R., Tilley, N. (2004). Realistic evaluation. 

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of Practice: learning, meaning and identify. 

Poole, M.S. and Van de Ven, A.H. (2004). Handbook of organizational change and innovation. 

Revans, R. (1998). ABC of Action Learning. 

Leadership styles and outcome patterns for the nursing workforce and work environment: A systematic review. ,47 , pp. 363-385.

Weick, K. (2001). Making sense of the organisation. 

Assessing organizational readiness for change. ,22 , pp. 197– 209.

Bevan and Plesk (2009). How do we deliver “industrial-scale” improvements in cost and quality? A concept paper.. 

The adoption, local implementation and assimilation into routine nursing practice of a national quality improvement programme: the Productive Ward in England. ,20 , pp. 1196-1207.

Data should be accessed as appropriate from local, regional, national and international sources. For example, Workforce Intelligence, Health Trends, OECD, WHO, World Bank, EU.


Internal service, barriers, flows and assessment. ,19 , pp. 210-231.

BMJ Quality & Safety.

Øvretveit, J. (2002). Evaluation. 

NHS Institute for Improvement.

Daft, R (2010). The Leadership Experience. 

Bate, P., Gabbay, J., Gallivan, S., Jit, M., le May, A., Pope, C., Robert, G., Utley, M. (2007). The Development and Implementation of NHS Treatment Centres as an Organisational Innovation.. 

Pettigrew, A., and Fenton, E. (2000). The innovating organization. 

Use of latest research projects from the SDO/NIHR and other web sites.


Le May, A. (2007). Ed. Communities of Practice in Health and Social Care. 


Easterby- Smith, MPV & Lyles M. (2011). Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management. 

Systems Failure in Hospitals—Using Reason’s Model to Predict Problems in a Prescribing Information System. ,Vol. 29, No. 1 , pp. 0.

Van de Ven, A.H., Polley, D.E., Garud, R., and Venkataraman, S. (1999). The Innovation Journey. 

Framework for analysing risk and safety in clinical medicine. ,316 , pp. 0.

Mackintosh N, Berridge EJ & Freeth, D. (2007). Supporting structures for team situation awareness and decision making: insights from four delivery suites. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice ISSN 1356-1294. ,0 , pp. 0.

Greenhalgh, T., Robert, G,. Bate, S.P., Macfarlane, F., and Kyriakidou, O. (2005). Diffusion of Innovations in Health Service Organisations.. 


Doppelt, Bob (2010). Leading change toward sustainability: A change-management guide for business, government and civil society. 

Australian Resource Centre.

Implementation Science.

Checkland, P., and Scholes, J. (1999). Soft Systems Methodology in Action. 

A theory of organizational readiness for change. ,4 , pp. 67.

Bisognano M, Kenney C (2012). Pursuing the Triple Aim: Seven Innovators Show the Way to Better Care, Better Health, and Lower Costs.. 


Assessment Strategy

A two part assignment. Assessment requirements Please note that the summative assessment mark comprises the combined marks for PART 1 and PART 2 as outlined below. The summative assessment pass mark is 50% providing both threshold marks for PART 1 and PART 2 have been met. Part 1 – 20% of total mark (threshold/qualifying mark 7/20) Part 2 – 80% of total mark Assessment requirements Please note that the summative assessment mark comprises the combined marks for PART 1 and PART 2 as outlined below. The summative assessment pass mark is 50% providing both threshold marks for PART 1 and PART 2 have been met. Part 1 – 20% of total mark (threshold/qualifying mark 7/20) (submitted two weeks after module finishes) Part 2 – 80% of total mark (threshold/qualifying mark 40/80) (submitted 8 weeks after module finishes) The combined mark will determine the pass mark, providing the mark for PART 1 is no less than 7/20 and the mark for PART 2 is no less than 40/80 (threshold/qualifying marks). Where the summative assessment mark is over 50%, but the marks for PART 1 and/or PART 2 are below the thresholds of 7/20 and 40/80 respectively, the student will be required to resubmit the section (s) that has not met the threshold mark. Where the summative assessment mark is below 50%, the student will be required to resubmit the PART (s) that are necessary to achieve a combined pass mark of 50% ensuring that this includes any PART that has not met the required threshold mark. NB. International or European students who are basing their project outside the UK may have an allowance of an additional 200 words to outline their country specific features. These words must be within a text box and clearly related to enabling the marker to comprehend the specific background to the initiative. (threshold mark 40/80) (submitted 8 weeks after module finishes)


MethodPercentage contribution
Plan  (1000 words) 20%
Proposal  (4000 words) 80%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External

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