Doctors in training should be supported to continuously improve quality of patient care, according to a series of recommendations contained in a new report being launched today.

‘Quality Improvement – training for better outcomes’ brings together expertise from all four nations of the UK and provides recommendations for embedding quality improvement training in medical education. Recognising the very complex healthcare environment that trainees are working in, it highlights the importance of making quality improvement part of the mindset of all health and social care staff. It calls on employers in particular, to provide protected time and resources for doctors to put their quality improvement training into practice.

Drawing on wide-ranging expertise from improvement leaders, patients, trainers and trainees, the report, sponsored by The Health Foundation and Health Education England, makes a series of recommendations, including:

  • Embedding progressive quality improvement curricula and training into undergraduate and postgraduate medical education
  • Valuing quality improvement activity in career appraisals and job descriptions
  • Working with patients to ensure quality improvement initiatives address the things that are important to them.

Lead author Dr Emma Vaux, a consultant nephrologist and Learning to Make a Difference clinical lead, Royal College of Physicians, said, ‘This is about delivering a step-change in the way we approach training, to ensure we embed improvement methodology as a core competence in practice for all doctors. We need to put systems in place to support this and enable future generations of doctors to learn to be reflective, enthusiastic and effective improvers working together with their patients and multi-professional teams to achieve this.’

The report also sets out how the General Medical Council, medical schools and medical royal colleges can incorporate the changes in under-graduate and post-graduate training.
Professor Wendy Reid, Director of Education and Quality, and Medical Director, Health Education England said,

‘I would like to thank Emma and her colleagues for their hard work and commitment. They have delivered a report which is commendably clear and makes an unassailable case for teaching trainees not just why quality improvement is important but how to make it happen in practice, to make a difference to both their work and the care their patients receive. The recommendations set out in the report align closely to our new multi-professional HEE Quality Framework, which will provide an ideal vehicle to help us embed improvement methodology to empower learning and sharing, and ultimately improve patients’ outcomes.’
For further information contact Max Prangnell on 0773 4361055 or email
Or the QI project manager Dr Rose Jarvis on 0207 490 6810 or email