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Improvement methodology

Are we using an evidence-based improvement methodology?

Welcome to improvement methodology, one of the eight components of the NHS Change Model.

Using an evidence-based improvement methodology ensures that the change will be delivered in a planned, proven way that follows established methods.  The improvement methodology is the game plan.  There is a range of proven methodologies available to support different kinds of change, from ones with a particular emphasis on large scale change across systems, to process improvement.

Improvement methodologies underpin the other components of the NHS Change Model and provide an underlying coherence for change efforts.

With the use of effective evidence-based improvement methodologies the adoption and systematic spread of change is supported more effectively; delivery of leadership goals and the overall success of a change effort are more likely to be assured.

Resources to support this component - improvement methodology

Overarching methodologies

Leading large scale change: A practical guide

This NHS Institute guide tells the story of what the NHS Academy for Large Scale Change learnt and how you can apply these principles within your own health and healthcare setting.  

Bringing lean to life

NHS Improvement used Lean with clinical teams and proved that the methodology can improve quality, increase safety, reduce turnaround times, increase efficiency and productivity, improve staff morale and reduce costs.  This booklet provides a basic introduction and overview of Lean; the culture, principles and tools to understand to enable you to tackle and resolve issues within healthcare.

The NHS Improvement System 

This comprehensive online resource was developed by NHS Improvement to support every stage of an improvement initiative from project initiation through to delivery and subsequent sharing of knowledge outcomes, resources and case studies with the wider NHS.   It has now been adopted by NHS IQ. Used for both local and national projects across whole health economies, networks and provider organisations.

The North East Transformation System

This approach developed in the North East is their approach to keep improving the quality, safety and effectiveness of local health services so we can achieve our vision


Quality and service improvement tools and training

NHS IQ provides a range of service improvement tools and guides. 

The Quality, Service Improvement and Redesign programme is now open for applications

Introduction to improvement methodologies and evidence

First steps towards quality improvement: A simple guide to improving services 

This resource provides a short overview with the most relevant tools and other resources signposted for further exploration.  If you want to deliver sustainable improvements with greater speed and confidence, this resource will help you take the first steps.

Quality improvement made simple 

This Health Foundation guide (2010) is intended for those who need to understand quality improvement approaches but who are not directly involved in the day-to-day work of a quality improvement programme.

Evaluating healthcare quality improvement

Health Foundation 2011 report on a discussion with senior figures from the field of improvement science on key learning about what works in improving quality and current thinking about the challenges of evaluating complex quality improvement interventions.

Improvement science 

This Health Foundation 2011 evidence scan summarises readily available research about the concept and practice of improvement science.