Knowledge into Action
A mixed-methods evaluation of a national fellowship programme to build quality improvement and safety skills and leadership capacity: The Scottish
Quality and Safety Fellowship programme (SQSF)
What we know
The Scottish Quality and Safety Fellowship programme (SQSF) is a 10-month programme established in 2008 to develop clinical leaders with advanced knowledge, technical ability and essential leadership skills to deliver improved healthcare at organisational and national levels. SQSF is managed by NHS Education for Scotland (NES), working in partnership with Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) and NHS Scotland.
To explore four levels of educational and practice outcomes associated with (1) the reaction of fellows to SQSF participation, (2) learning gained, (3) subsequent behaviour changes and (4) the overall impact on national and international level capability and capacity building.
What this research explored
A theory-informed multi-method design was applied using (1) a search and review of the SQSF organisational database to tabulate personal, professional and demographic characteristics; (2) semi-structured telephone interviews with 16 participants using purposive and self-selected sampling; and (3) a cross-sectional online evaluation survey across all 10 cohorts involving 222 fellows.
What this study adds
SQSF was positively perceived as a high-quality learning experience containing a well-balanced mix of theory and practice, with a majority of respondents reporting career changing benefits. Most participants reported improved social, behavioural and emotional skills, knowledge and attitudes and, with sustained support of their host organisations, were able to apply and share learning in their workplace. SQSF has achieved significant positive outcomes for the great majority of participants. The impact of the SQSF on a wider national and international level capability and capacity was both mediated and moderated by a wide range of interrelated contextual factors. Some tentative recommendations are provided with the aim of further enhancing fellowship content, delivery, transfer and future evaluations of wider impacts at regional, national and international health system levels.
This project is led by Professor Paul Bowie, NHS Education for Scotland, in conjunction with colleagues from the University of Dundee and NHS Tayside. BMJ Open Qual. 2020 Oct; 9(4): e000978. doi: 10.1136/bmjoq-2020-000978. PMID 33055177; PMC7559044
Toma M, Blamey A, Mahal D, Gray NM, Allison L, Thakore A, Bowie P Multi-method evaluation of a national clinical fellowship programme to build leadership capacity for quality improvement. BMJ Open Qual. 2020 Oct; 9(4): e000978. doi: 10.1136/bmjoq-2020-000978. PMID 33055177; PMC7559044
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