Quality Improvement Fellowship Scheme 2021

The Salford CCG Quality Improvement Fellowship Programme 2021 offers six opportunities for Health and Social Care staff currently employed in Primary Care, Community or Public Health services in Salford to receive funded time, training and support to develop their skills in Quality Improvement and effectively test and deliver change in their service or organisation.

What is Quality Improvement?

Quality improvement (QI) aims to make a difference to patients and staff by improving the safety, effectiveness, and experience of care through:

  • Using understanding of our complex healthcare environment
  • Applying a systematic approach
  • Designing, testing, and implementing changes using real time measurement for improvement

Quality improvement is about giving the people closest to issues affecting care quality the time, permission, skills and resources they need to solve them. It involves a systematic and coordinated approach to solving a problem using specific methods and tools with the aim of bringing about a measurable improvement (The Health Foundation, 2021)

Aims of the Salford CCG Quality Improvement Fellowship Programme

Salford CCG’s QI Fellowship programme aims to realise this definition of Quality Improvement – enabling and supporting improvement initiatives within the local Salford system through providing funding to employers to backfill the Fellows’ time (1 day per week / 0.2WTE), arranging training and masterclasses from QI expert organisations and providing ongoing mentorship from the CCG’s Improvement and Innovation leads. Literally “giving the people closest to issues affecting care quality the time, permission, skills and resources they need to solve them”.

By the end of the 1-year QI Fellowship programme, we expect Fellows to have:

  • Seen a measured improvement in their skills and knowledge of QI and supporting methodologies
  • Delivered at least one QI project of their own design within their organisation or service
  • Developed the readiness and confidence to identify, initiate and lead change and to act as a Champion for QI in Salford

The QI Fellowship programme aims to support longer-term benefits that are three-fold:

  • Benefits to the individual: Through the Fellowship, individuals will gain increased skills, confidence, knowledge, networks and professional development (PDR, CPD etc)
  • Benefits to the organisation: Through the Fellow, their organisation and/or service will gain from improved processes and outcomes, organisational capacity and capability for QI
  • Benefits to the patient/service user/public: Through improvement projects, the ultimate gain will be for patients, service users and the public from improved health and care outcomes


This Fellowship offer is open to staff who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Are currently employed by a Salford-based statutory organisation or provider in one of the following settings: Primary Care, Social Care, Community services or Public Health.
    • If on a fixed term contract, this must be due to end no sooner than September 2022
  • Have a level of seniority or autonomy in their role that enables them to implement changes in their organisation (e.g. GP, Practice Nurse, Pharmacist, AHP or other clinical roles at a senior level Band 7+ and clerical roles at a managerial level)
  • Have the full support and permission of their employer and line manager to take up the offer of backfilled, protected time to carry out the activities of the Fellowship

We are particularly seeking dynamic, self-led individuals from a range of roles and backgrounds, with a genuine interest in quality improvement and a desire to make a real difference in the care or service they provide. Candidates will also be expected to share and exhibit through their work the CCG’s core values of inclusivity, collaboration, innovation and integrity.

If you are interested in undertaking a Fellowship, but are uncertain about your eligibility, please do get in touch for an informal chat using the contact information presented at the end.

The Fellowship Offer

The QI Fellowship will commence from the 1st September 2021.

New Fellows will first undertake a QI skills needs analysis with the CCG’s Innovation, Research and Quality Improvement team to identify key areas for their development throughout the Fellowship. An appropriate mentor will be assigned at this point, and the Fellows will have regular check-ins with them throughout the year (at least once per month, with more frequent sessions at the beginning).

A range of core training courses will be provided by AQuA, and completed by all Fellows:

  • Introduction to Improvement – September 2021: this 1-day session will provide Fellows with a basic, underpinning understanding of QI theory, methods and practice.
  • Improvement Practitioner – October 2021 to March 2022: this 6-month course comprises of 4 days training, with support in-between, to build on participants QI knowledge and deliver a supported QI project.
  • Measurement for Improvement – Date TBC: this 2-day programme provides an in-depth look at both the theory of Measurement for Improvement and practical analysis techniques to apply to your day to day work.
  • Introduction to Human Factors – October 2021: this course comprises of two half-day sessions, and introduces the concept of ‘Human factors’ (enhancing our performance through a better understanding of human behaviour and abilities)

Fellows will be presented with certificates at the end of each course. These courses will also be cohort training events, and so Fellows will have a valuable opportunity to network and share ideas with several other improvers in the system.

Additional supplementary training sessions, masterclasses and resources will be planned around the results of the QI skills gap analyses conducted at the start of the Fellowship, and may include topics such as:

  • Change management
  • QI tools and supporting methodologies
  • Communicating your results (e.g. presentation skills, communications, publications etc)
  • Evaluation
  • Scale up and Spread

There will also be a training budget of up to £2,000 available to each Fellow to support them to attend further training, events and conferences that are identified as being beneficial to their development.

Expectations of QI Fellows

Successful applicants to the Fellowship Scheme will be expected to:

  • Spend at least their funded one day per week (0.2 WTE) on their training and QI Project (the chosen day/s should be worked around the needs of the Fellow and their employer)
  • Attend and successfully complete all of the core training courses provided
  • Fully commit to and engage with the ongoing mentoring and support provided
  • Conduct at least one Quality Improvement project during the course of their Fellowship
  • Self-lead and manage their own workload accordingly
  • Where necessary, actively co-ordinate meetings and activities within their organisation or service to support delivery of their improvement project
  • Network and form professional relationships with other Fellows in the cohort, and more widely – in particular across organisational boundaries
  • Deliver a final QI Fellowship Project report, to be presented to the CCG’s Innovation and Research Oversight Group (IROG)
  • Attend a graduation presentation as part of a future system-level event (for example the CCG Members’ Events)

Improvement Topics

Applicants will be expected to propose at least one idea for an improvement topic they would like to explore further and/or undertake their Fellowship project in.

We would particularly welcome proposals that aligned with one or more of the following strategic priority areas:

  • Improving safety and reducing avoidable harm
  • Delivery of patient-centred services and improving patient and family experience of care.
  • Improving clinical effectiveness and demonstrating delivery of best outcomes of care
  • Improving efficiency and productivity – reducing wait times and waste
  • Improving the sustainability of care (e.g. environmentally-friendly products and services)
  • Learning from Incidents and implementing the National Patient Safety Strategy
  • Improving the effectiveness and/or uptake of Digital Primary Care
  • Improving care transitions and the links between Primary and Secondary Care
  • Uptake of vaccinations and immunisations
  • Uptake of screening and health checks
  • ‘Closing the gap’ in health inequalities
  • Antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance
  • COPD management
  • Care Homes improvement initiatives
  • Primary Care workforce retention
  • Improving Medical Training Learning Environments in Primary Care

Information for Employers

The Salford CCG QI Fellowship Programme is a backfill funding and training scheme, offering remuneration to employers to provide protected time for Fellows to conduct their QI training and carry out their projects.

As the Fellows’ projects will be based on making improvements within the organisation and/or service they currently work within, it is critical that employers are fully supportive of their employee’s Fellowship. We will not accept any applications without the explicit support of the applicant’s employing organisation and line manager. It is anticipated that some activities, such as tests of change to a service, will have some degree of cross-over with the Fellow’s day-to-day role.

Fellows will remain fully employed by their existing employer organisations throughout the term of the Fellowship. Employers will remain responsible for all elements of HR for their employees, including (but not limited to): line management, salaries, terms & conditions, Annual Leave, Sickness leave and indemnity. We strongly encourage employers to link Fellowship activities to the employee’s PDR where possible to maximise the benefits of this learning opportunity to their role and to your organisation.

Employer organisations will be expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NHS Salford CCG. This will confirm their commitment to provide protected time for completion of the Fellowship activities and the CCG’s commitment to make timely and appropriate remunerations for that time, and to deliver the training and mentorship offered to the employee. The CCG also commits to giving employers adequate notice of dates, at the earliest possible opportunity, for any and all training and other commitments that staff will be expected to undertake as part of their Fellowship activities.

Application Process

An application form can be downloaded here.

Application forms should be submitted by email to innovation.salfordccg@nhs.net  by Sunday 27th June 2021.

All application forms received will be sent an email of receipt within 1 working day. If you do not receive a receipt email for your submission, please follow up via one of the contacts below no later than Tuesday 28th June 2021. NHS Salford CCG bears no responsibility for lost applications which are not followed up through this process.

All applicants will be contacted by Friday 2nd July. Interviews for the Fellowships are anticipated to take place on 8th July 2021, and will take place virtually on Teams.

Information and Enquiries

For any further information, or enquiries regarding the NHS Salford CCG Quality Improvement Fellows Programme 2021, please see the following contacts:

  • For enquiries relating to the Fellowship offer, training and applications

Nadine Payne

Senior Manager Innovation and Research

NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group


  • For enquiries relating to Employers’ terms and remuneration

Satty Boyes

Workforce Programme Manager

NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group