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The University of Southampton

HLTH8009 Leading Innovative Services for Quality Improvement: Health Outcomes/Experience

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To enhance your ability to design and lead services that will improve the quality of patient/client/user/well-being, safety, experience, or health outcomes. This module is designed to allow you to critically examine the interpersonal, social, workforce and organisational factors that underpin service development and quality improvement. In addition, the module intends to advance your strategic thinking, influence and leadership. The module builds on the theories presented in ‘Governance in Action’ and ‘The Essence of Decision Making’ or ‘Diagnostic Assessment and Decision Making’ core modules.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a systematic and comprehensive ability to analyse the complexities of service development, improvement or innovation;
  • Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the approaches / techniques used to plan, lead, implement and evaluate service developments;
  • Demonstrate the ability to identify criteria to measure and evaluate the impact of the improvement on staff and client/patient/consumer health, well-being, or experience;
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of workforce trends, skills and skill gaps;
  • Select an area of practice/service for development demonstrating innovation/ creativity/ an appreciation of complexity;
  • Make an informed and justified judgement concerning the extent to which the selected area of practice/ service is ready for development;
  • Design a detailed development plan for a specified area of practice/service;
  • Demonstrate the ability to convey your ideas to both specialist and non-specialist audiences;
  • Take account of country /context specific issues where relevant.


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 constraints. 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 • Measuring/evaluating the impact of change on the consumer/ patient/ client/ service user / staff • Considering human factors and workforce trends/needs within a globalised society • Writing for lay and specialist audiences 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

Students are expected to devise a work-related innovation, improvement or service redesign that demonstrates collaboration and engagement with their peers and super-ordinates. Students require designated (12 hours) release from their workplace practice to do the required consultations. Students should draw on the learning gleaned from modules Governance in Action and either of the decision-making modules without duplicating previously assessed work. 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 made to anonymise the organisation/staff /persons.

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 module 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.

Preparation for scheduled sessions20
Completion of assessment task180
Project supervision1
Wider reading or practice100
Practical classes and workshops3
Total study time359

Resources & Reading list

NHS Institute for Improvement.

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..

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

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

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. 

Daft, R. (2010). The Leadership Experience. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"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.

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

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

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

BMJ Quality & Safety.


Øvretveit, J. (2002). Evaluation. 

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

Australian Resource Centre.

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

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

Implementation Science.

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

Diffusion of Innovations in Service Organizations: Systematic Review and Recommendations. ,82 , pp. 581-629.

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

Systems Failure in Hospitals—Using Reason’s Model to Predict Problems in a Prescribing Information System. ,Vol. 29 .


Assessment Strategy

Please note that the summative assessment mark comprises the combined marks for Section 1 and 2 as outlined below. The summative assessment pass mark is 50% providing both threshold marks for Section 1 and 2 have been met. Section 1 – 20% of total mark (threshold mark 7/20) Section 2 – 80% of total mark (threshold mark 40/80) The combined mark will determine the pass mark, providing the mark for Section 1 is no less than 7/20 and the mark for Section 2 is no less than 40/80 (threshold marks). Where the summative assessment mark is over 50%, but the marks for Sections 1 and/or Section 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 section (s) that are necessary to achieve a combined pass mark of 50% ensuring that this includes any section that has not met the required threshold mark. N.B. 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.


MethodPercentage contribution
Proposal  (4000 words) 80%
Written summary  (250 words) 20%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Travel Costs for placements

Students will be expected to provide the costs for their project themselves or from their manager/sponsor.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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