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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness



What is the Quality Improvement Support Service?

The Quality Improvement Support Service (QISS) is a new service within the Royal College of Psychiatrists’Centre for Quality Improvement. The developmental work for QISS was carried out under funding from the Health Foundation’s ‘Closing the Gap through Clinical Communities’ programme ( Over a two-year period, we tested and refined methods of supporting individuals and teams to apply the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s ‘Model for Improvement’ to defined areas of clinical practice in ways that ensure sustainability. The methods are practical to use, highly effective and can produce quick and substantial results.

More information on Closing the Gap.

Please click the links below for more information:


What the Quality Improvement Support Service offers

Our two stage programme will teach individual clinicians and managers to lead improvement work in targeted areas of clinical practice.

Stage 1: the acquisition of basic improvement knowledge and skills. Participants are guided through a simple six-week improvement project which brings them together with fellow trainees for two learning events at the beginning and end of stage 1. In between, they have weekly contact with the course leader. By the end of stage 1, they will have developed basic skills in applying the Model for Improvement.

Stage 2: supported management of an improvement project. The second stage takes between 12-16 weeks and participants are supported to apply the Model for Improvement to a specific area of clinical practice within their service. They will lead their local team through a bespoke improvement project on a topic of their choice and will receive 1:1 support from the course leader throughout this period, including her attendance at two on-site learning events, plus regular on–going contact. By the end of stage 2, participants will be able to confidently lead on-going improvement work with their team.

Benefits of participation

Improvement methods: stage 1 provides trainees with a robust grounding in improvement methods to prepare them to lead their local improvement programme.

Direct application: stage 2 provides trainees with 1:1 support to develop skills and confidence in

applying quality improvement methods to their local area for improvement.

Sustainability: once trained, participants will be equipped to lead on local clinical improvement


Cost effectiveness: the programme offers a cost effective way of supporting professional development in quality improvement.

Broad application: the programme will support and enhance the work already being done through quality improvement initiatives, peer-review and accreditation programmes by developing the skills to carry forward service.

Who is it aimed at?

Clinicians and managers who want to work with QISS on this exciting new training programme should have:


  • an identified area of clinical practice that they would like to improve;
  • the support of their local project team to work with them during stage 2;
  • the authority to test changes;
  • the active support of their managers to undertake the training.


Our work to date has helped us identify some key attributes and skills of successful improvement leaders:


  • strong project management skills;
  • dedicated time to take the work forward;
  • respected by colleagues;
  • excellent communication skills.

What does it cost?

The six-month training programme typically costs £6,000 (+VAT) and includes:


  • a highly structured programme of support from the course leader around a chosen area for improvement;
  • attendance at two learning events; 
  • two one-day on-site workshops.

Who do I contact?


If you would like more information on the project, please contact Maureen McGeorge on or download our recent leaflet.


Alternatively, please complete this expression of interest and e-mail it through to








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