NHS Quest Year in review – 2020


This year the NHS and social care has faced some of the biggest challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve seen extraordinary efforts as people adapt like never before to improve, innovate and support each other to deliver an effective COVID-19 response.

Here at NHS Quest we wanted to support our network in a responsive way. We postponed all of our scheduled network programmes and events, and revised our offers to focus on what could add the most value.

As we look back on 2020, we reflect on what we have done and what’s to come in 2021. Experience days, revised network programmes and key note hot topics are just some of the stand out pieces of work that are included in your NHS Quest year review below.

The NHS Quest network would like to share our gratitude to our colleagues across the NHS and social care for the incredible work you have done this year to keep us safe. A number of our members, Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Cardiff and Vale UHB and Bradford Teaching Hospitals, have also been at the forefront of the vaccination programme roll out and are part of the hugely important next step in the UK’s COVID-19 response.

Our Networks

NHS Quest Experience Days provide a platform for peers to engage with each other and facilitate knowledge sharing across the network. In February this year, we came together our ‘Insights from Spreading Best Practice Across their Provider Group Model’ day hosted by the Nothern Care Alliance at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.

We had a number of presentations throughout the day that showcased the work across the Northern Care Alliance.

We heard about the development of the Quality and Productivity Improvement Strategy across the Alliance, and the work on a number of fantastic projects to bring the strategy to life, including:

  • The Kindness Collaborative at Oldham Care Organisation
  • The deteriorating patient collaborative
  • Productivity transformation programmes
  • The Swan Model for end of life care


We also heard fantastic things about the work on ‘Ask, Listen & Act’ which puts service user experience at the heart of everything they do, and the learning from the Nursing Assessment and Accreditation System (NAAS) which supports teams to reach and sustain high quality of care for patients across the Alliance.

For full coverage of the day please take a look at our live blog here.

There are more experience days planned for 2021 and details of these will be released in the new year.

This year, we have also introduced a range of revised offers across our networks to support teams and provide an opportunity to connect with like-minded colleagues. We have introduced three new programmes: QI Building Blocks Framework, Developing QI Leaders and A Conversation With.

These programmes will support the understanding of concepts and characteristics to develop a high performing organisation with an effective learning system, development of Quality Improvement skills, and hear from top QI leaders to deepen knowledge on key concepts and topics.

We have also agreed a CEO Global Study Tour for 2021, further details will be shared with all member organisations in the new year.

Site Leads Learning series  

In May 2020 we launched our NHS Quest Site Leads Learning Series. The series of webinars brought together Site Leads from across the Quest network and provided a space to share learning, experiences and observations focused around improvement, innovation and wellbeing.

The sessions have been well received, with many members stepping forward to lead sessions, share experiences and facilitate discussions.

“I have found the Webex sessions really valuable for sharing learning, experience and ideas. It has also help bring the Quest community closer together and really emphasise the triple aims that the membership are working towards.”

The common purpose and experiences that the pandemic has brought has reinvigorated our network and our commitment to developing a safe and supportive learning environment.

We look forward to continuing the series in 2021.

Hot topics programme

This year, we have also launched our Hot Topics programme. Our hot topic approach reflects 2 or 3 key issues that are prominent and challenging for our network.  Each subject is led by a CEO sponsor and the approach is driven by our CEO community.

Our first topic launched this year is ‘Everything you wanted to know about racism but were too afraid to ask’, lead by Dr Owen Williams OBE, Chief Executive of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, and facilitated by Nichole McIntosh FRSA, Regional Head of Nursing for Health Education England London.

In November, we held the keynote session with Chief Executives from across NHS Quest. Colleagues from across the network shared their insight and reflections via a series of mini films, and attendees were able to reflect and discuss in safe spaces. NHS Quest will co-ordinate and support the next stages of the learning and will keep you informed of the opportunities, resources and impact from the launch event.

Our second hot topic for the year will focus on NHS Anchor Organisations, and how we can source our future workforce while supporting our communities through local employment, especially for young people, who will be hit hard as a consequence of measures to tackle COVID-19. We will share more details in 2021.

IS4L cohort 6

NHS Quest helps build Quality Improvement capability & leadership through our popular Improvement Science for Leaders programme. In November, we welcomed five teams onto cohort 6 of the programme from NHS Quest Trusts:

  • Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS FT
  • Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS FT
  • Homerton University Hospital NHS FT
  • Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS FT (2 participating teams)

This year, led by Delphine Corgie, the programme has been re-imagined to be delivered virtually using interactive classroom work and learning environments to facilitate continuous collaborative learning.

Find out more about the programme here. Over the next few months, we’ll be sharing updates on how the teams are progressing with their improvement projects and insights into the programme.

Coming up in 2021

There are a variety of upcoming events for the NHS Quest network in 2021.

In January, we will launch our new Quality Improvement Building Blocks programme, which is supported by Dr Peter Chamberlain.

We will also hold the first sessions for two of our new programmes:

Developing QI leaders

A Conversation With…

Take a look at what’s coming up in our 2020/21 programme here.

As a member of NHS Quest, you have access to all of our upcoming programmes and events. If you are not an NHS Quest member and would like to find out more, please get in touch with the team.

We wish you all the very best for 2021 and look forward to continuing our work to together to be at the forefront of quality and safety improvement.