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Scaling up Quality Improvement in the National Health Service: Identifying critical success factors


   Division of Health Research

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  Prof J Rycroft-Malone, Dr Ailsa Brotherton, Dr Caroline Swarbrick  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

A PhD scholarship funded by Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is available to study how we improve the quality of health services at scale. This is an exciting and timely project given that the NHS Long Term Plan identified the role of quality improvement in building a sustainable NHS for the future, highlighting the need for local health systems to have the capability to implement change effectively.

However, research about how organisations have successfully adopted quality improvement approaches and what the critical factors for success are, is limited. There is a growing body of evidence which explores how individual organisations have adopted robust quality improvement methods, but there is a gap in the current evidence for translating improvement at an organisational level to a system level – such as at the level of an Integrated Care System. The aim of this project is to therefore investigate the adoption of quality improvement at a system level and to identify the critical factors for success.

 This will be a mixed methods study, addressing the following objectives:

 ·        To determine the influence of QI on cultural and leadership behaviours to positively impact patient and staff experience and outcomes.

·        To explore the experiences of the board and senior leadership team and staff in adopting a QI approach as business as usual.

·        To explore the fidelity of the quality improvement methods when used at a system level.

·        To investigate the impact of using data for improvement to engage staff to lead improvements at a system level.

The project proposal and approach will be shaped by the student and supervisors in collaboration with an advisory group, including patients and the public.

Skills and disciplines: We are open to applicants from all disciplinary backgrounds, but preference will be given to candidates with experience in health and/or social care, and in using qualitative approaches.

You will need excellent communication skills, and a willingness to work as part of a team.

Applicants should hold a 1st or 2.1 honours degree in a relevant discipline to the PhD area.

Application Process

Applications should be made directly to Prof Jo Rycroft-Malone – [Email Address Removed] and should include:

1. CV (max 2 A4 sides), including details of two academic references

2. A cover letter outlining your qualifications and interest in the studentship (max 2 A4 sides)

Closing date for applications - 30th September 2022

We encourage you to contact either Prof Jo Rycroft-Malone – [Email Address Removed] and/or Dr Ailsa Brotherton [Email Address Removed] to discuss your application.


Funding Notes

Available on a full-time or part-time basis, the studentship is tenable up to 3 years full-time or equivalent (subject to satisfactory progress) and will cover the cost of tuition fees at Home rates. A stipend in line with the UKRI rates is payable.

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Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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