The five components of NHS IMPACT

NHS IMPACT will support delivery of clinical and operational excellence, helping to develop the leadership and organisational capacity, capability and infrastructure to create the conditions for improvement. It will also deliver a small number of centrally led national programmes to drive adoption and local adaptation of operational processes and clinical pathways that are proven to improve quality and productivity. The focus for 2024/25 will be interventions that improve patient flow.

2024/25 priorities and operational planning guidance (page 6)

NHS IMPACT (Improving Patient Care Together) has been launched to support all NHS organisations, systems and providers at every level, including NHS England, to have the skills and techniques to deliver continuous improvement.

NHS IMPACT is a single improvement approach to support organisations, systems and providers to shape their strategy underpinning this with continuous improvement, and to share best practice and learn from one another.

It will inform the way we work across services and create the conditions in which continuous improvement is the “go to” method for tackling clinical, operational and financial challenges.

Continuous improvement methodologies are not the same, but they are linked together by some key principles.

NHS IMPACT’s five components form the ‘DNA’ of all evidence-based improvement methods, these principles underpin a systematic approach to continuous improvement:

  1. Building a shared purpose and vision
  2. Investing in people and culture
  3. Developing leadership behaviours
  4. Building improvement capability and capacity
  5. Embedding improvement into management systems and processes

When these five components are consistently used, systems and organisations create the right conditions for continuous improvement and high performance, responding to today’s challenges, and delivering better care for patients and better outcomes for communities.

Our overarching ambition is to enable the creation of an NHS in which every organisation, including NHS England, has the leadership with the leadership behaviours, the capability and the capacity, to enable our staff to solve the problems that matter to them, their patients and their populations. Working with their partners to deliver better life chances and better outcomes for those patients.

It’s important that NHS IMPACT is applied holistically, and we recognise that organisations, systems and providers are at different stages of their journey. NHS IMPACT may take time to be deeply embedded for those who are new to this way of working.

As NHS IMPACT shapes and develops more resources to support you will become available.

Example organisations who have embedded all five components

The case studies and resources on NHS IMPACT web pages have been curated by National Clinical Director for Improvement Dr Amar Shah in an aim to inspire those who may be considering adopting a quality improvement (QI) approach. 

This report from the CQC highlights Trust experiences of using QI. The report is not a ‘how-to guide’. It uses the words of hospital staff to share learning with other trusts.

This publication from the Heath Foundation explains how building an organisation-wide approach to improvement is a journey that can take several years. It requires corporate investment in infrastructure, staff capability and culture over the long-term. Why organisation-wide improvement in health care matters, and how to get started.

To demonstrate a commitment to quality improvement Leeds Teaching Hospitals produce a stakeholder publication to describe their ambition to build a culture of continuous improvement. An introduction to quality improvement. Leeds Teaching Hospitals:

The journey to a sustainable mainstream improvement culture is long and windy with some bumps along the way. This is a great guide to that journey, packed with tips and insights in the voices of those who have led the work in Lancashire Teaching Hospitals:

This case study describes Central and North West London Foundation Trust emphasis on expert by experience involvement, their approach to spread improvement success around the Trust; how they embed training and their annual celebration of improvement.

Building the business case for quality improvement: a framework for evaluating return on investment is presented through this case study from East London Foundation Trust.

Additional resources