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RCGP Quick guide: Collaboratives

Published: 11th January 2017

Quality improvement collaboratives consist of groups of people meeting together to learn from and motivate one another.

One common type of collaborative involves a central learning event followed by local implementation using quality improvement tools, such as PDSA cycles. These are supported by regular communication between the expert(s) and the participants as well as through the sharing of results, feedback and learning.

A collaborative can improve access to a greater number of experts and means that good practice can be exchanged between peers. It has the potential by comparing what practices do to motivate the team to do things differently which can then improve the care offered to patients.

Download RCGP Quick guide: Collaboratives

How to

Top tips from the Health Foundation on making collaboratives a success are:

  • People to include
    • Multidisciplinary team members.
    • Patients and carers.
    • Those that volunteer.
  • Topic
    • Change requires team approach.
    • Needs to be realistic.
    • Choose area where gap between current and ideal performance.
  • Process
    • Set clear goals.
    • Tailor to local context.
    • Use many communication methods.
    • Use coaching/facilitation.
    • Include learning sessions.
  • Resources
    • Good IT to allow data collection and sharing.
    • Use measurement tools.
    • Enough resources to allow time for change to embed.
    • Evaluate outcomes.

Many practices are coming together in at scale organisations such as federations or clusters which will give opportunity for collaboration in the area of quality improvement. Someone within those groups will need knowledge.

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