Sep 14, 2018
Around the world social labs are being established as a way of tackling complex challenges. The aim of these labs is to work creatively and collaboratively to formulate and test new ideas. Most commonly the labs claim to support innovation (a step change in delivery and performance) in policy or delivery rather than improvement (incremental change in performance), but in practice there is considerable overlap. Labs use various approaches, often rooted in the disciplines most relevant to their work, for example design or behavioural science.
The first Q Improvement Lab ('Q Lab'), funded by the Health Foundation and NHS Improvement, was launched in the spring of 2017. The aim was to test whether the Q Lab approach is likely to become an effective, valuable way of developing ideas or interventions to support positive change at multiple levels of the health and care system in the United Kingdom. The Q Lab is distinctive not only for its focus on improvement but also for its concerns with UK health and social care issues.
RAND Europe and the University of Cambridge were commissioned by the Health Foundation to undertake a real-time, formative evaluation to support the Q Lab pilot. The evaluation addressed the overarching question: 'Is the Q Lab approach likely to become an effective, valuable way of developing ideas or interventions to support positive change at multiple levels of the health and care system?' Starting in May 2017, the evaluation was conducted over 15 months.
Context, aims and methods of the evaluation
The Q Lab approach: origins, phases and programme theory
Reflections and recommendations
Overview of data sources
Interviewee selection approach
Interview and focus group topic guides
Survey 1 instrument
Survey 2 instrument