CLAHRC NWL currently have a series of posters being presented at The Past, Present and Future of Medicine SAM & RCPE Conference in Edinburgh at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. The posters will be orally presented to the audience with an opportunity for some one on one comments, questions and thoughts.

Using Quality Improvement Methods to Strengthen Collaboration between Patients, Clinicians and Researchers

Rachel Matthews, Mark Doughty



The stimulation of inclusive, constructive and productive dialogue between patients, clinicians and researchers are essential for quality improvement (QI). Whilst this is recognised in the literature, there is little about how to do this that models the values and behaviours required (1,2).This work outlines how QI methods can support the development of a shared learning network to foster dialogue and collaboration.


Patients, clinicians and researchers have worked with NIHR CLAHRC Northwest London and the Centre for Patient Leadership to establish a network for learning. QI tools, such as the model for improvement and Plan – Do – Study – Act cycles have been used to agree a shared purpose and to test the content and delivery of meetings. Success criteria were agreed with members and are reviewed at each meeting and action learning is used to support personal development of all members. This network differs from traditional involvement where terms of reference and membership criteria are often agreed and imposed in advance with little scope for reflection.


A diverse membership has been established including 65 patients, carers, clinicians, managers and researchers, 10 meetings have been held since October 2014 with average 15 people attending. Members have formed new relationships that have resulted in collaboration with QI initiatives. The members’ value action learning as a way to explore assumptions that may influence their practice and behaviours and a space has been created that allows members to bring aspects of work they need help and advice e.g. how to involve parents and young people in improvement.


Whilst QI tools can strengthen reflective practice, action learning has developed values and skills required to create better dialogue. These approaches paid attention to the anxiety people have about working with individuals with whom they are less familiar. This is an important first step in breaking down barriers to authentic collaboration.


  1. Renedo A, Marston CA, Spyridonidis D, Barlow J. Patient and Public Involvement in Healthcare Quality Improvement: How organizations can help patients and professionals to collaborate. Public Manag Rev. Routledge; 2015;17(1):17–34.
  2. NHS Scotland. Realistic Medicine: Chief Medical Officer’s Annual Report 2014-15. Edinburgh; 2014.

Did you get a chance to view this poster and speak to one of the CLAHRC NWL team? We welcome feedback and insight of your view.


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Throughout the next couple of days, we will be displaying all of the CLAHRC NWL posters presented at the SAM and RCPE Conference 2016 on our blog with supporting text from our authors and presenters.