16 Oct 2018


Published Date: 16 Oct 2018

The intervention was facilitated by CLAHRC North Thames' industry partner, Foresight Centre for Governance at GE Finnamore, initially with six NHS trusts. Foresight works with public services to develop and improve leadership and Board-level effectiveness. Their work with Foresight illustrates the way CLAHRC North Thames is working with industry to translate research outputs into practice. Following a workshop hosted by UCLP, co-delivered by Foresight, another of our partner trusts commissioned an organisational development intervention from Foresight which draws on iQUASER and included Professor Naomi Fulop in an advisory capacity.

The iQUASER research team evaluated the impact of this intervention to assess and understand its impact within the six Trusts taking part. As a direct result of the intervention, two Trusts created a new senior post to develop their organisation-wide QI strategies. The results of this project will benefit patients by helping boards of NHS providers to develop their organisational-wide strategies to improve quality of care.

In addition to evaluating the impact of the intervention, the research team also studied the role of boards in quality improvement, drawing from data collected from 15 organisations. As part of this research we have developed an index of QI ‘maturity’. This measure has been used to classify the 15 Trusts included in the iQUASER study and analysis has identified characteristics of Boards associated with a high QI ‘maturity’. The results were published in BMJ Quality and Safety. This paper has received a significant amount of international interest (as reflected in an altmetric score of 219, placing it in the top 5% of all research outputs).

This programme is currently being piloted and evaluated in 12 organisations in England

Contribution of CLAHRC North Thames

The study team comprise Prof Naomi Fulop (PI), Prof Steve Morris, Dr Lorelei Jones and Dr Estela Capelas Barbosa. Jones and Barbosa were fully funded by CLAHRC North Thames whilst Fulop was part funded. CLAHRC NT also contributed research leadership and expertise to the development, implementation, and evaluation of the intervention and to advancing knowledge and understanding of how trust boards can assure and improve the quality of the health services their organisations provide.

What happened next?

The study findings featured in a report published by the Kings Fund, a leading knowledge mobilisation organisation. NHS Improvement has taken up the ‘maturity framework’ as part of a Leadership for Improvement programme (board-level training and development). This programme is currently being piloted and evaluated in 12 organisations in England. NHS Improvement is also using the tools from the iQUASER intervention (an evidence-based guide developed by the CLAHRC research team and a self-assessment tool) as part of its Culture and Leadership programme. UCLP has taken up the iQUASER intervention to use with its member organisations and it has been used by two Trust boards.