A radical new programme of online courses for those involved in health and social care

Are you:

  • Working in, or with, health or social care?
  • Enthusiastic about make things work better in your local service?
  • Keen to put your improvement ideas into practice, but not sure how?
  • Eager to hear from colleagues across the country with the same concerns?
  • Looking for free, bite-sized Quality Improvement training that you can access at your desk or on the go?

If so, the Improvement Fundamentals learning programme could be for you.


Improvement Fundamentals is a programme of online, self-directed mini-courses in quality improvement (QI) for those involved in heath or social care services.

  • Short: This brand new programme of short, bite-sized mini-courses, takes you through the preparation and delivery of an improvement within your workplace step-by-step
  • Practical: It is focused on equipping you with practical knowledge, skills and support, helping you undertakes your own improvement project as you progress through the mini-courses
  • Collaborative: The course is designed to provide ample opportunity for discussion and collaboration with peers and facilitators to provide learners with a network of support

The courses are free to take part in, and are delivered entirely online in the form of videos, articles, discussion and practical exercises that contribute to your own improvement project.

The programme is organised into four essential learning areas or suites:

  1. Quality improvement theory
  2. Quality improvement tools
  3. Measuring for quality improvement
  4. Spreading quality improvement


About the courses

Each course will be facilitated for a week, during which time participants will have access to SI’s topic experts for guidance and advice. Following this, participants will have time to work on their own local project.

Learners are able to complete the courses in their own time, with each taking around 2.5 hours in total. This can be done all together or in half hour chunks throughout the week.

Throughout the programme, participants will be guided to put their theory into practice and can submit a piece of work at the end showing how they have done this.

After successfully completing each mini-course, you will receive a certificate of completion for your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) records.


Improvement Fundamentals – first four courses running again in March 2019!

The first four courses in the Improvement Fundamentals programme have now run once each. However, in case you’ve missed them or would like another chance to complete them, they are all running again – back-to-back – in March 2019.

Our schedule of courses is:

Each course is now open for enrolment using the links above. If you are a new user, please register on the QI Learning Platform first, and then enrol onto the courses.

The courses are CPD-certified and you can gain 10 CPD points for completing the full series.

If you would like to complete the courses as a group, you are welcome to do so. To arrange this, please email the Improvement Fundamentals team at england.si-mooc@nhs.net 

During each week, expert facilitators, Cheryl Guest and Maggie Herbert of NHS England’s Sustainable Improvement team, will be on hand to answer your questions and offer their insights in the social spaces on the courses.

You can follow on Twitter @QIFundamentals and join the conversation using #QIHikers

Milton Keynes College are offering a free distance learning course - 'Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Dementia Care'.


Highlights Include

  • Distance learning study – 10 weeks duration
  • Free to study
  • Nationally recognised award
  • Study materials offered online or in paper format


What does this course cover?

The Certificate in the Principles of Dementia Care comprises of seven units:

  • Understanding dementia
  • The person-centred approach to dementia care
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Person-centred approaches to the administration of medication
  • Factors that influence communication
  • Behaviour in the context of dementia care
  • Benefits of engaging in social activities


Who is this course for?

This course would be beneficial within a wide range of professions, including care workers, social and healthcare related roles.


Why choose this course?

This course will help learners to develop an awareness of dementia, what it is and how it can affect different people.  It also explore how to use a person-centred approach to encourage positive communication, as well as the factors that can affect interactions with people who have dementia.


Entry requirements

No formal academic qualifications are required to study this course. Learners must be aged 19+ and have lived in the EU for the past 3 years.


Visit the Milton Keynes College website to find out more and book online.


The University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) are working with NHS England on a project looking at how GP Practice websites can be developed to help patients and carers. The following links to each of the short surveys are below:

  1. Survey for patients of GP Practices is here: https://uclan.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/10-minute-survey-about-gp-practice-websites-for-patients
  2. Survey for carers is here: https://uclan.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/10-minute-survey-about-gp-practice-websites-for-carers 

Your help in completing and sharing these would be very greatly appreciated. 

The National Institute for Health Research and the University of Cumbria will be hosting the launch event of the Research Design Service North East & North Cumbria.

The launch will take place on Thursday 28th February 2019, 15:00-17:00 at the University of Cumbria, Fusehill Street, Carlisle.

All are welcome to join.



The Research Design Service (RDS) is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to provide advice to research teams to develop and submit high quality applied health and social care grant applications to NIHR and other national peer-reviewed funding programmes.

On 1st October 2018 the NIHR Research Design Service North East increased its remit to cover North Cumbria https://rds-nenc.nihr.ac.uk/news/. The NIHR Research Design Service North East and North Cumbria (RDS NENC) is funded by the NIHR to support researchers to develop and design high quality research proposals for submission to NIHR funding programmes and other funders of health and social care research.

RDS NENC is a partnership between Newcastle, Northumbria, Teesside, Durham and Cumbria Universities and South Tees Hospitals and Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trusts, Newcastle City Council, the NIHR Clinical Research Network NENC and other key NIHR Infrastructure locally and nationally. 


To register your place, please visit the event booking page on EventBrite.

By Tracey Galbraith, Service Improvement Facilitator with CLIC

It’s that time of year for big bang fresh starts, big changes, new beginnings, new job etc.

But is it??? Did that work last year, or the year before? Or to quote Samuel Johnson, is that another ‘triumph of hope over experience’?

So let me suggest a different approach… Kaizen. Broadly speaking, the Kaizen philosophy is that: 

  • Improvements are based on many small changes rather than the radical changes
  • Small incremental changes are less likely to be radically different, and therefore easier to implement
  • Small improvements are less likely to require major capital investment than major process changes
  • The ideas come from you as opposed to using research, consultants or the latest guru/brand – any of which could be very expensive
  • Everyone should continually be seeking ways to improve their own performance
  • It helps you/your family/your team to take ownership for the change, and can help reinforce working together, thereby improving motivation

Professor Stephen Singleton, Director of CLIC, has summarised the process of continuous improvement in a previous blog:

So this year, just make small incremental changes, change one small habit and keep improving. Here are some ideas:

  • A short lunchtime walk daily - instead of a 10 mile hike every few weeks
  • A daily 2 minute meditation - instead of a weekend retreat
  • Switch to skimmed milk - instead of cutting out all dairy

If you would like to find out more about a work-based continuous improvement approach, book onto 'Influencing and Implementing Improvement' or 'Building Capability for Improvement: The Cumbria Production System' via our events page (new dates for 2019/20 coming soon!).