Wednesday, September 20, 2017

AQuA Exhibiting Analytics Support at North West Informatics Conference

Two of our staff will be exhibiting our analytics work at this week’s Connect Conference in Blackpool, alongside a range of senior informatics colleagues from across the North West health and care sector.

Hosted by Intersystems and the NHS Skills Development Network, ‘Beyond the Boundaries’ takes place at the Hilton Hotel, Blackpool, on Thursday 21 – Friday 22 September.

Our Programme Director Nadine Boczkowski and Principle Business Intelligence Analyst Paul Hawgood will be showcasing our analytics and business intelligence work with our members from across the region.

Speaking ahead of the conference, Nadine said:

“We’re delighted to be attending Connect Conference and are looking forward to hearing about some of current priorities and to share supporting offers and services available to our members across the region.

“There are some fantastic speakers lined up over the two days, and we hope to see some really innovative analytical and technological developments and best practice.”

Sessions throughout the conference will explore a broad range of topics, including digital innovation, using informatics to improve performance and outcomes across health and care, and how to develop the necessary skills behind this now and in the future.

Nadine and Paul will be at Stand 21 in the reception exhibition area over the two days, and will also be taking part in sessions; with many of our member also delivering presentations throughout the conference.
You can follow Paul on Twitter @PaulHawgood, or for latest updates follow NHS Skills Development Network @ISDNorthWest

Monday, September 18, 2017

Could You Be Our Next Board Member?

The Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA) is seeking expressions of interest to join our Board from senior leaders from organisations signed up to AQuA membership.

Our Board plays a vital role in helping to set our overall vision for our work with members and customers, and is made up of five Directors taken from our member organisations across the North West, as well as four external independent Directors.

We are looking to appoint one member Director to replace Dr. John Dean, who stood down earlier this year to take up a new national role.

AQuA Chief Executive David Fillingham said: 

“This is a fantastic opportunity for senior members to use their experience and insight to help shape our work, and ensure we continue to offer the best possible support to help our members address a range of challenges across health and care.

David Fillingham, AQuA Chief Executive
“John has been with us since for over six years, and during this time has made a massive contribution to our work. Whilst we’re sad to see him go, we wish him all the best in his new role with the Royal College of Physicians.”

In order to ensure we have a balance of experience and perspectives, we would particularly welcome applications from members with a medical background. However, all expressions will be considered.

Further information about our Board, including current members, is available on our websiteFull information about the role is available in the person specification.

To express your interest, please send a short CV and covering letter outlining why you wish to join our Board, and how you meet the requirements, to

The deadline for expressions is Friday 13 October.

We would also welcome further discussions about this opportunity ahead of applications, which you can arrange with Carole via the above email, or by calling 0161 206 5187.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

AQuA Staff Among Latest to Join Q Community

The Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA) is pleased to announce that its Safety & Mortality Improvement Lead Kayleigh Price is among the latest selected to join the prestigious Q Community.

Led by The Health Foundation, Q aims to bring together improvement practitioners from across the UK to share ideas, learning and best practice to support improvement projects and innovation.
Kayleigh Price, Improvement Lead

Kayleigh, who joins eight other AQuA staff who were previously selected for Q, said of the announcement:

“I’m really excited to be accepted as a member of Q and look forward to being a part of an exciting, diverse and dynamic community.

“I can’t wait to get going and start learning from others and sharing my own experiences too.”

Over the past year, The Health Foundation have been working alongside Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) across the UK, to coordinate recruitment to Q.

Kayleigh was part of the latest intake for the Greater Manchester AHSN area, with a previous intake held for the Innovation Agency (formerly North West Coast AHSN) footprint earlier this year.

Q now has almost 1800 members frmo across the UK, including a number from across the North West.

Our Chief Executive David Fillingham will also be speaking at the Q Community national event in Liverpool on 23 November, which will explore how members can learn from each other and do things differently to improve outcomes.

We’ll also be sharing further details about this event in the coming weeks.

For more information about Q, including a full directory of members, visit the Q Community website. You can also follow updates on Twitter via @theQCommunity.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Nominate Your Health & Care Projects for the 2017 iNetwork Innovation Awards

The Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA) is encouraging members to enter this year’s iNetwork Innovation Awards, by nominating their projects or services for the awards’ Health category.

The Innovation Awards celebrate the best in public sector innovation, with the dedicated Health Award recognising exceptional design and delivery of services to a particular population or place. Entries will be judged on how projects can evidence impact, the innovative nature of the work, and potential to be adopted by others.

Cathy Sloan, Head of System Transformation, said:
“Once again we’re delighted to be supporting the Innovation Awards. This is the second year we’ve seen a dedicated Health award, which recognises some of the fantastic work in improving outcomes and services for patients.

“Working with our members on a daily basis, we see first-hand some of the amazing improvements and innovations displayed by teams, projects and services across the region, particularly around work to improve place based care.

 “We want members to celebrate their achievements by nominating these for the Health award, and I hope we’ll see a strong turnout when these go to a public vote in September.”

Entries can be submitted via the link below:

Members are also welcome to enter nominations for other awards categories, including:
  • ·         Outstanding Contribution
  • ·         Innovative Access to Public Services
  • ·         Effective Service Redesign & Reform
  • ·         Excellence in Information Sharing & Security
  • ·         Connected Procurement & Commissioning
  • ·         iStand Award (electronic data standards)
  • ·         Partner Excellence

Nominations close midnight on Friday 15 September, after which entries will be open for a public vote on the iNetwork website.

Entries with the most votes will then go to a judging panel, who will produce a shortlist of finalists to be invited to the awards ceremony; taking place in Manchester on Wednesday 15 November, ahead of the iNetwork Annual Conference.

For full information about the awards, including highlights from the 2016 awards, please visit the Innovation Awards website.

iNetwork help support public sector organisations to improve local services, by encouraging collaboration and sharing best practice. Members can access their events and training for free through AQuA membership.

For more information, please visit the iNetwork website.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Three Liverpool Members Awarded Health Foundation Innovation Funding

The Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA) is pleased to announce that three of our Liverpool members have been selected for The Health Foundation’s £1.5 million Innovating for Improvement programme.

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), and the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust were among the 21 projects selected across the UK to receive the funding.

The Innovating for Improvement programme will run for 15 months. Each of the three projects in Liverpool will receive up to £75,000 of funding to support delivery, as well as the evaluation of how the innovation improves the quality of health care.

The three Liverpool-based projects set to benefit from the funding will each focus on improving a different area of health care for patients with respiratory health needs in the city.

NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will use this funding to build on the success of Liverpool’s Advice on Prescription in Primary Care project, which was set up in partnership with Liverpool’s Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) to help alleviate poverty, hardship and other common social risk factors that negatively impact on a person’s health. The project will identify new care pathways that would benefit from the scheme, and test it in respiratory services.

Dr Janet Bliss, Clinical Director for Community Services at NHS Liverpool CCG said:
“We are delighted with the news of these three Innovating for Improvement funding awards, each of which will be used to help develop cutting-edge health projects that will directly benefit local patients.

“The Advice on Prescription Project is a ground-breaking scheme which enables all Liverpool GP’s to refer their patients to CAB advisors for help on a range of social issues such as housing, homelessness, job loss and debt.

“Being part of the programme will enable us to continue to build on the successful work already being undertaken through this scheme, with the aim of reducing many of the social risk factors that can negatively impact on people’s health and wellbeing.”

The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust will use funding from the Health Foundation to improve how heroin smokers access chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) community services across Liverpool and help reduce the time they need to spend in hospital.

A large number of heroin users in Merseyside are at risk of developing and dying from COPD, a lung disease associated with smoking that causes symptoms such as cough and breathlessness.

The innovative project, which is being led by consultant respiratory physician Dr Hassan Burhan, is engaging with patients by working in partnership with drug services, NHS Liverpool CCG, and 2Bio Ltd’s Impact Science Team who provide innovation services to the Trust and have supported the development of this project.

Dr Hassan Burhan, Consultant Respiratory Physician, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital NHS Trust said:
"Heroin users often don’t engage with community services, which can lead to late diagnosis of COPD and missed opportunities to slow how the disease progresses. Up to one in two heroin smokers have COPD, and one in eight admissions with exacerbations of COPD to our Trust are in patients with a history of heroin smoking.

“We are really pleased to have secured this award and look forward to implementing our ideas to improve COPD management and outcomes in this hard to reach group of patients.”

Alder Hey Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will use the funding to help evaluate the effectiveness of their SCORE programme, a new healthcare model that empowers children with asthma to understand their condition, self-manage it and participate in activities. The model involves an initial consultation to set goals and optimise treatments, a peer-group educational intervention, and two blocks of activity.

Dr Ian Sinha, Consultant Respiratory Paediatrician at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital said:
"We are delighted to have received this funding award for this new approach to asthma treatment, which is centred around children and communities. We hope to demonstrate that it is both clinically effective and cost-effective through the programme, and to be able to share this learning more widely.

“More than ever we need to be thinking creatively about new ways of working in health, and each of these innovative projects highlights that Liverpool is a forward thinking city with regards to new models of care.”
Sarah Henderson, Associate Director from the Health Foundation said:

“We are delighted to be supporting three fantastic projects in Liverpool to enhance care for patients in the local area, with a focus on improving respiratory services. We are keen to support innovation at the frontline across all sectors of health and care services, and I am pleased that we will be able to support these ambitious teams to develop and test their ideas over the next year.

“Our aim is to promote the effectiveness and impact of the teams’ innovations and show how they have succeeded in improving the quality of health care, with the intention of these being widely adopted across the UK.”

To find out more about the Innovating for Improvement programme, go to:  

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Measuring Mortality Video Masterclasses – Episode Two Now Live

We’re pleased to bring you Episode Two of Measuring Mortality; our monthly video masterclass series designed to help health and care professionals get to grips with mortality data.

In this episode, Paul Hawgood and Andy Wilson from our Analytics team will be introducing you to Standardised Mortality Rates (SMRs), following last month’s episode on Crude Mortality Rates.

Speaking ahead of this latest video, Paul said:

“Unlike Crude Mortality Rates, which we covered in episode one, Standardised Mortality Rates allow you to compare data across different organisations by making adjustments to take into account differences in age, sex, type of admission and condition.

“In this episode, we’ll be giving you an overview of SMRs and how they are calculated, whilst in episode three we’ll take a look at some of the common types used across the NHS to help improve services.”

Watch Episode Two here:

If you missed the first episode of the series, you can catch up over on our Youtube channel.
You can also share your thoughts, comments and questions with Paul via 

Feel free to share them on Twitter @AQuA_NHS or @PaulHawgood, or via the #MeasuringMortality hashtag.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

AQuA Enhanced Recovery Expertise Published in US

The Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA) is pleased to announce that the work of one of our staff has recently been published by the American Society of Enhanced Recovery (ACER).

The work of our Flow Programme Lead, Wendy Lewis, was published in ACER’s Enhanced Recovery Implementation Guide; which gives a range of advice and guidance on implementing enhanced recovery, as well as examples and case studies from around the world.

Enhanced Recovery (ER) describes the modern, evidenced-based approach to help people recover more quickly after major surgery.
Wendy Lewis, AQuA

For the guide, Wendy worked alongside our partners J9 Consulting to contribute the UK learning and examples of successful implementation of ER. This was based on her experience of leading ER implementation at local and regional levels and as national improvement lead for Enhanced Recovery Partnership Programme with the Department for Health.

Speaking on the guide’s publication, Wendy said:

“It’s been fantastic to contribute some of my experience to the guide, and I think it really takes a comprehensive look at how this approach can work in practice, both in the US and abroad.

“The US has had a major focus on enhanced recovery for a number of years, but we also have some great examples where it’s been used to improve care for patients, and give them a much better experience during their recovery.”

“Last year I also had the opportunity to join a UK Trade and Industry study trip held in Philadelphia, USA, to start transferring learning from UK healthcare improvement with some of the leading experts behind enhanced recovery.”

The full 94 pages of the guide is only available to ASER members. However, you can view a preview of the first five pages on the ACER website.

For more information about this work, please contact