Quality Improvement Fellowship Scheme 2022-23

The Salford CCG Quality Improvement Fellowship Programme 2022-23 offers six opportunities for Health and Social Care staff currently employed in Salford within Primary Care, Social Care, Community or Public Health services 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) giving them protected time to conduct QI project/s, as well as 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

Fellowship Programme Outcomes

Chart QI Fundamentals.PNG

Fellows’ Progress is measured in four key skills and knowledge areas: QI Fundamentals, QI Implementation, Additional tools & methodologies and Supplementary knowledge and skills.

Each Fellow follows their progress via an individualised dashboard (an element of which is shown in the real example left) that evidences and visually plots the increases in their knowledge and skills analysis scores on a quarterly basis.

Feedback from 2021-22 Cohort QI Fellows:

quotes (2).png


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

  • Are currently employed by a Salford-based statutory organisation or care provider in one of the following settings: Primary Care, Social/Domiciliary Care, Community or Public Health.
    • If on a fixed term contract, this must be due to end no sooner than September 2023
  • 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, Senior Care Assistant or other clinical and clerical roles typically at AfC band 6 and above)
  • 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, pro-active and 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 12th September 2022.

Skills Analysis

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, matching their expertise to the Fellows’ needs.


Fellows will be assigned a mentor from the Core Faculty of the QI Fellows Programme. Mentors are local leaders in their field, with expertise in Quality Improvement methods, as well as the relevant system experience needed to guide and support Fellows through their training and the set up and delivery of a QI project.

Fellows will have regular check-ins with their mentor throughout the year-long programme (at least once per month, with more frequent sessions at the beginning).


The programme is designed to be ‘front-loaded’ with training, and so much of a Fellow’s allocated time in the 4 months will be spent on learning key QI theory and skills. A core training curriculum will be provided by AQuA (https://aqua.nhs.uk) an NHS health and care Quality Improvement organisation providing QI expertise, specialist learning and development, and consultancy. This training is a critical part of the Fellowship and must be completed in full to graduate. Details and schedules for these core training sessions are pre-set (Fellows would be expected to hold these dates), and are summarised in the table below:

fellowship table.PNG

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
  • Equality Impact Assessments

Training Bursary

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

Expectations of QI Fellows

Successful applicants to the Fellowship Scheme will be expected to:

  • Spend at least their funded, protected one day per week (0.2 WTE) on their training and QI Project (the chosen day/s is flexible and 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 summary, 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

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 changes and 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, professional capabilities 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 confirm 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 1st June 2022.

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 listed below no later than 3rd June 2022. NHS Salford CCG bears no responsibility for lost applications which are not followed up through this process.

Shortlisting will be conducted and all applicants will be contacted by 7th June 2022. Interviews for the Fellowships will take place on 14th June 2022. Timescales will be tight between application and interview, so we advise all applicants to please hold 14th June in your diaries in advance at the time of submitting your application to ensure you are able to attend an interview if offered.

Information and Enquiries

For any further information, or enquiries regarding the NHS Salford CCG Quality Improvement Fellows Programme 2022-23, please contact the following:

  • 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