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Q Community Testimonials

Ruth Gray
Clinical Lead in Prison Dentistry
Quality Improvement Fellow
SEHSCT

Q is an amazing opportunity to connect, be inspired and  challenged.

The network creates space for people from different services, locations and disciplines to share diverse experiences and understanding. It is this dynamic interface that brings opportunity to collaborate and shape best practise.

The annual Q network conference is always a source of new applied thinking, participating is an energising experience, encouraging reflection and connection.

As a Q member, I have had the opportunity to gain Q Exchange funding to collaborate with academics to evaluate the impact of QI training in N. Ireland. Q Exchange has enabled peer support for this study across UK and Ireland. The Q evaluation specialist interest group is supporting the dissemination of this work with a national online workshop, exploring the application of the learning.

The specialist interest groups are an opportunity to share and learn from others in areas of expertise such as the community of practice, liberating structures and evaluation groups.

Q membership is much more than an opportunity for training and new skills, it encourages new connections, fresh thinking and innovative ways of working.

Stephanie Kelly
Senior Facilitator Innovation and Quality Improvement team
NHSCT

My name is Stephanie Kelly and I am the Senior Facilitator for the Innovation and Quality Improvement team in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.  I have always been a strong advocate for making meaningful change in our health service and this role has allowed me to exactly do that, whilst also equipping others with the tools and techniques to make changes in their areas.

When I first started this post I was introduced to the Q Community.  Moving into quality improvement from service improvement, I found that it gave me a lot of information on key areas and developments, and also provided learning sessions which I could attend for free, e.g. understanding data, liberating structures etc.  This helped me improve my own knowledge and understanding, as well as allow me to network with other likeminded individuals.

Over the past 2 years, the NHSCT has successfully been awarded funding from the Q Exchange project, obtaining up to £30,000 each.  The team have been so helpful and provided great networking opportunities again, along with the opportunity to share outcomes on their site.

The Q community is also very keen to share our learning, and provides the opportunity for members to write blogs, and they also have specific interest groups which, as a member, I have been able to join.  If you need to learn more about techniques to support quality improvement practices, or want to learn about what is happening nationally in an area you are interested, I would definitely invite you to join Q.

Dr Philip Lusty
GP Partner and Medical Adviser
HSCB

Joining Q Community provided me with a unique opportunity as a local Portadown GP, to spread my wings.   Through Q I have been able to connect and learn with fellow GPs and Pharmacists across Northern Ireland that I would not have otherwise have met.  I made connections and friendships with colleagues from all disciplines right across our entire HSCNI locally and UK wide.

I often comment that individuals do business with other individuals, not faceless organisations and we do best when we come together in a positive way to support each other through challenging problems and times.   I have formed some of my best relationships and friendships with fellow improvers and “positive disruptors” in our local area and other Trusts through the collective learning experiences you get through being part of Q Community and through my travel with Q and active participation in the Q Exchange.  There is a power to harness when you connect with fellow Q members as well as a combined wisdom and knowledge bank to be valued.

I give thanks for the support I received from Q Community as well as the good graces of Dr Margaret O’Brien and Dr Sloan Harper to release me from my medical adviser duties in HSCB to partake in the Community of Practice Leadership Programme in London.

Through this training I also got opportunity to share the good work going on at home in Northern Ireland through our Integrated Care Partnerships, Project ECHO and many other positive projects that aim to bring the needed transformational change to our own doorstep.  The highlight of this Q Community experience and training for me was when I was asked to MC our showcase event in Guys and St Thomas Hospital London in January  2020 to a room of our supporters and healthcare leaders.  I shared a story about geese and a lesson on team work with the importance of “Honking from behind,” and a video was played to a UK wide audience of a project I was involved with in Portadown.

I had to pinch myself as not only was this was shared with fellow friends and colleagues from Portadown and the Q Community, but also to an audience of health care leaders in a majestic conference room that had the most fantastic panoramic view of the Thames and central London down below.  Not bad for a GP from Portadown!

I would encourage my colleagues to join the Q Community and expand their knowledge, make new connections and be part of new experiences.

Clifford Mitchell
Regional Senior Improvement Advisor
HSCQI Hub Team

I recently joined the HSCQI Hub Team as Regional Senior Improvement Advisor. I am very excited about the role and look forward continuing my advocacy for Quality Improvement as I did in my former role as Old Head of Quality Improvement (Acting) within the Quality Improvement Team for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.

As a QI Leader it is fantastic to part of a community that has likeminded people focused on all aspects of quality and safety. It is a space to connect, learn and share ideas and innovations.

Since joining Q I have been truly inspired by the opportunities, connections and learning which has enabled me to innovate and inspire NHS staff to become involved in QI and to join the Q Community. Some of the highlights and benefits for me personally include:

Jan 2018 – As a new Q member I was funded to visit Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Their workshop was about discussing the approaches they took to dramatically improve and sustain endoscopy planning and administration. This was an excellent opportunity to connect and bring back valuable learning to my own Trust.

Jan 2018 – Northern Ireland Q Welcome Event, Titanic Quarter, Belfast. This was a fantastic welcome for new Q members in Northern Ireland. The event included sessions on connecting and networking, QI coaching, using data to influence and motivational techniques. It was great to meet new people and share stories and experiences – and feel part of a wider community.

Jan 2019 – I attended a session funded by Q on using data to influence. This was a pivotal moment for me – a “light bulb” moment! I was able to take the learning from this workshop and develop bespoke data for healthcare training sessions for staff in my Trust. This was extremely popular, and in the first year my team trained over two hundred staff in using data, and creating run charts, pareto and scatter charts in Excel.

Oct 2019 – All Ireland QI Network Event: People Make Change. –  Another fantastic networking event enabling connection and collaboration from colleagues from the north and south of Ireland. At this event I was able to share the programme I had led delivering an accredited Level 3 Quality Improvement Award for service users and carers. This was an excellent platform to share our approach in co-production and co-design.

March 2021 – Q Exchange. As a Q member, it was a privilege to support a Q Exchange application for Support Services for Children with a Disability. The project is primarily designed to support families and stop children with a disability being admitted to the care system when normal support systems are disrupted or withdrawn due to COVID-19 or other system pressures. The team has won 30K to drive this project forward. This is showing frontline staff the benefits and commitment that the Q Community can offer, and it is an excellent opportunity to promote Q locally and regionally. For me personally, it was fantastic to support a project that will benefit children with a disability and their families.

In conclusion, joining the Q Community has had a massive impact on me as a person – from networking, connecting and sharing, to inspiring me to innovate and drive the QI culture within my own organisation and wider afield. As someone who teaches accredited QI qualifications, I have incorporated Q into the curriculum to support and inspire staff, service users and carers to network, connect and continue their QI journey.