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Research Questions

  1. How effective is the ongoing governance, design and management of Q? How has Q Lab progressed during the period of this evaluation?
  2. How well does the Q community and infrastructure meet the needs of members?
  3. To what degree is Q providing support, enabling connections and the development of expertise, and mobilising members to lead and undertake improvement more efficiently and effectively?
  4. What impact has Q had on the wider health and care system across the UK?
  5. Is Q achieving or contributing to sustainable improvement in health and care across the UK and, if so, how?

Q began as an initiative to recruit '5,000 Safety Fellows' in response to a recommendation put forward in the 2013 Berwick Report. The initiative is led by the Health Foundation and supported and co-funded by NHS England. It aims to connect people working in quality improvement across the healthcare system throughout the UK, to make it easier for them to share ideas, enhance their skills and thus bring about a change that benefits patients.

RAND Europe carried out an independent, embedded evaluation of Q during its first phase from spring 2015 to January 2016 (Garrod et al. 2016). Subsequently, RAND Europe was commissioned to provide an independent evaluation of Q, starting in 2016 and reporting in early 2020. This is the interim report of that evaluation, documenting progress towards two overarching evaluation aims:

  1. To provide evidence and analysis to support strategic decision-making and inform the ongoing design and management of Q.
  2. To assess the impact that Q has, primarily on members, but also on their organisations more widely and to understand how this contributes to improvement in health and care quality across the UK.

The full evaluation report will be published in spring 2020.

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was prepared for the Health Foundation and conducted by RAND Europe.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.