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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

Health Sciences Professor to join ground-breaking quality improvement initiative

Published: 23 June 2015
Catherine Pope

Catherine Pope, Professor of Medical Sociology at the University of Southampton, has been selected to join the inaugural participants of a ground-breaking new initiative to improve the quality of care for patients in the NHS. The Q initiative, run by independent health care charity the Health Foundation together with NHS England, will connect people dedicated to improving the quality of care across the UK.

The initiative will make it easier for people from all parts of the health system with expertise in quality improvement to share ideas, enhance their skills and introduce changes to make care better for patients.

Professor Pope will join front-line clinicians, managers, researchers, policy makers and patient leaders to design, refine and test Q during 2015. The initiative will then launch more widely in 2016, with an aim to recruit significantly more participants by 2020.

“I’m very pleased to be directly involved in the Q initiative, joining colleagues from across the spectrum of health care provision, leadership and research to effect positive changes to our country’s health care systems,” said Professor Pope. “This initiative is particularly important to ensuring that our focus is on actively developing and improving the delivery of patient-focused care for now and for the future.”

Through her research and teaching at the University of Southampton, Professor Pope works closely with clinicians and health service managers to understand, develop and improve health care quality and services. She has undertaken evaluations of health services including Treatment Centres, and Walk-In centres, carrying out research on Ambulance Handover and Safe Nurse Staffing. Professor Pope currently teaches on nursing, midwifery and allied health degree programmes at the University.

“The Faculty of Health Sciences is committed to the transformation of health care, so we are delighted that Catherine will be working with the Q initiative to improve the quality of health care,” said Dame Professor Jessica Corner , Dean of Health Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Penny Pereira, Assistant Director of Strategy at the Health Foundation, comments: “We want to ensure the design of Q meets the needs of those working to improve care in the NHS.

The overall ambition is to make sure organisations are easily able to tap into the best ideas from across the UK and beyond.

Dr Mike Durkin, Director of Patient Safety at NHS England, comments: “Q will boost the skills of its individual participants, but also encourage a nurturing of talent and sharing of innovation and passion that will be vital as we build the capacity and capability of quality and safety improvement science across the NHS.”

Notes for editors

  • Q began as an initiative to recruit ‘5,000 Safety Fellows’ following a recommendation of the 2013 Berwick report A promise to learn, a commitment to act . Now Q is carrying forward the vision to embed continual learning and improvement in the NHS.
  • The Health Foundation’s involvement and funding of Q means the initiative is expanding beyond England to connect expertise across the UK. Q is also expanding beyond its original remit of patient safety, to incorporate improvement in all domains of quality.
  • Together the Health Foundation and NHS England have committed nearly £2m of initial funding to launch the initiative.

About the Health Foundation

The Health Foundation is an independent charity working to improve the quality of health care in the UK. We are here to support people working in health care practice and policy to make lasting improvements to health services. We carry out research and in-depth policy analysis, run improvement programmes to put ideas into practice in the NHS, support and develop leaders and share evidence to encourage wider change. We want the UK to have a health care system of the highest possible quality – safe, effective, person-centred, timely, efficient and equitable.

About NHS England

NHS England is the national commissioning body for the NHS in England. It exists to create the culture and conditions for high quality health and care services, including safe health care, for all, now and for future generations and ensure that valuable public resources are used effectively to get the best outcomes for individuals, communities and society.

NHS England works as direct commissioners of some types of health care (including primary care and specialised commissioning), assurers of Clinical Commissioning Groups commissioning of other services (including secondary care) and as a key player within the wider health and social care system.

NHS England also works to develop and deliver the future shape of the English health care system in collaboration with its partners.

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