The CLAHRC NWL Improvement Leader Fellowship is a unique opportunity to share learning across disciplines and to enrich the improvement learning by having patients learning alongside healthcare professionals. The Fellowship is designed to facilitate knowledge and information exchange across disciplinary and professional/patient boundaries.


The aim of the fellowship is to develop a range of future leaders in innovation and improvement by creating a new knowledge space, both mental and physical, which enables improvement leaders to fully engage across disciplines and the professional/patient boundary. Introducing these mutually beneficial dynamics instils fellows with the authority and ability to advance change in their organisations and beyond.


The fellowship takes place over 12 months, inclusive of 12 teaching days and a practical improvement project. 122 fellows have taken part in the fellowship since 2010, including 19 patients since 2012.


A recent evaluation of the fellowship demonstrated that it was the collaborative learning aspect, which enabled the process of learning together and discussing real world problems, that was highly valued.


Fellows reflected, value was also held in the safe, egalitarian space created by the programme. Initial challenges were often experienced, but were quickly followed by productive experiences for both healthcare professional and patients.


The development and facilitation of a collaborative programme encouraging patients as equals can be challenging yet ultimately appears to be beneficial and may contribute to a change in mindsets, attitudes and behaviours beyond the fellowship.

Further information on the evaluation and the fellowship can be found here.