Resources and connected NHS England programmes

Guidance and resources are available for embedding each of the five components including courses, workshops, events, free tools, guides, case studies, journal articles and research. These can be accessed via the links below or the ‘five components of NHS IMPACT’ section in the menu.

NHS IMPACT five components

Below are quick links to useful improvement resources including good practice pathways and guidance documents as well as cross-cutting workstreams such as GIRFT, intensive support and the national clinical audit.

The Model Health System

The Model Health System is a data-driven improvement tool that enables NHS health systems and trusts to benchmark quality and productivity. By identifying opportunities for improvement, the Model Health System empowers NHS teams to continuously improve care for patients.

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Demand Capacity programme

The Demand and Capacity programme supports the NHS to better understand the demand on its services and plan sufficient capacity so that patients do not wait longer than necessary for treatment and provides demand and capacity models, modelling approaches and resource tools to achieve this aim.

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Getting it Right First Time (GIRFT)

The programme undertakes clinically-led reviews of specialties, combining wide-ranging data analysis with the input and professional knowledge of senior clinicians to examine how things are currently being done and how they could be improved.

GIRFT is part of an aligned set of programmes within NHS England. The programme has the backing of the Royal Colleges and professional associations.

GIRFT resources include best practice pathways, case studies, and guidance documents for surgical and medical specialties as well as cross-cutting workstreams such as clinical coding and litigation.

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Leadership for improvement

Work is underway to co-design and establish a Leadership for Improvement programme, commissioned and supported through NHS England, enrolling all providers and systems (including primary care) to support a whole-system focus on improving healthcare outcomes with our workforce, patients and communities. This work will sit alongside addressing the recommendations of the Messenger Review.


A range of resources are already in place to support Leadership for Improvement, these include:

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Making Data Count

The Making Data Count programme is focussed on supporting people working in the NHS and wider health and social care sector to make the best use of their data.

The programme promotes a range of approaches to support more effective decision at all levels in an organisation and provides a range of free training and support offers.

Further details are available on the Making Data Count Futures site Making Data Count – FutureNHS Collaboration Platform.

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National clinical audit

Clinical audit is a way to find out if healthcare is being provided in line with standards and lets care providers and patients know where their service is doing well, and where there could be improvements. The aim is to allow quality improvement to take place where it will be most helpful and will improve outcomes for patients.


A range of resources are available to support clinical audit:

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NHS IMPACT FutureNHS workspace

The NHS IMPACT FutureNHS workspace has been launched to enable you to find out more, keep up-to-date and how you can get involved with NHS IMPACT. We welcome new members from across the NHS who are looking for more information or support. Please join this network where you can access regular evidence scans, blogs, updates and a discussion forum.

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NHS IMPACT bulletin

Subscribe to our monthly NHS IMPACT bulletin which provides the latest news and resources for improving patient care and includes updates from the National Improvement Board.

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Primary care improvement

The resources below provide guidance and support to drive continuous improvement in primary care improvement.

Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care

Read and download: Delivery plan for recovering access to primary care

National General Practice Improvement Programme

Fuller Report

  • Fuller Stocktake: Sets out the need for a differentiated and personalised patient offer and recommended the creation of integrated neighbourhood teams and more at-scale working to improve same day access for urgent care and personalised care for those who need it most.



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Elective care improvement

The resources below provide guidance and support to drive continuous improvement in elective care improvement.

Delivery plan for tackling the COVID-19 backlog of elective care

Resources to support Elective recovery (includes guidance on Cancer 62 day target and outpatients waiting lists)​.

Read and download: Delivery plan for tackling the COVID-19 backlog of elective care

Children and young people’s elective recovery toolkit

This toolkit sets out actions that regions, systems and providers should take to accelerate children and young people (CYP) recovery and reduce the elective activity gap between CYP and adults.

Read and download: Children and young people’s elective recovery toolkit


  • Validation and Clinical Prioritisation Programme: The Validation and Clinical Prioritisation Programme supports healthcare providers with prioritising their waiting lists based on individual patient needs. Letters, frameworks and guidance are provided to support providers with prioritising their surgical (Clinical validation of surgical waiting lists: framework and support tools) and diagnostic (Clinical prioritisation of waiting lists for endoscopy and diagnostic procedures: framework and operational guidance) waiting lists.
  • Clinical prioritisation of waiting lists for endoscopy and diagnostic procedures: Following the prioritisation of surgical waiting lists, the next stage of the programme is to prioritise patients who are waiting for a diagnostic procedure. This letter, framework and operational guidance is designed to support providers with this work.
  • Clinical validation of surgical waiting lists


  • Digital products that can aid elective recovery: This directory provides an overview of digital products that can be used to support elective recovery. The technologies include those that provide support for patients at home, improve communications, streamline pathways, release time for clinical teams and provide home based rehab.




Cambridge elements: improving quality and safety in healthcare

  • The Positive Deviance Approach ( This element presents examples of how positive deviance has been used to support healthcare improvement.
  • Co-Producing and Co-Designing ( This element explores the origins of co-production and co-design, the development of approaches in healthcare, and associated challenges; in reviewing the evidence, it highlights the implications for practice and research.
  • Collaboration-Based Approaches ( This element focuses on two approaches: quality improvement collaboratives and communities of practice. It explores evidence of their impact on health outcomes, and evidence about how best to organise and implement collaboration-based approaches. Using examples of more and less successful collaborations, they offer guidance on the key challenges involved in using collaboration-based approaches to improve healthcare.
  • Making Culture Change Happen ( This element unpacks what is meant by organisational culture and explores the evidence for linking culture to healthcare quality and performance. It considers the origins of interest in managing culture within healthcare, conceptual frameworks for understanding culture change, and approaches and tools for measuring the impact of culture on quality and performance.
  • Operational Research Approaches ( This element explores operational research’s wartime origins and introduce several approaches that operational researchers use to help healthcare organisations: address well-defined decision problems; account for multiple stakeholder perspectives; and describe how system performance may be impacted by changing the configuration or operation of services.
  • Implementation Science ( This element introduces and critically reflects on the contribution of implementation science to healthcare improvement efforts. Grounded in several disciplines, implementation science is the study of strategies to promote the uptake of evidence-based interventions into healthcare practice and policy.
  • Simulation as an Improvement Technique ( This element explores how simulation-based interventions can help to improve care and outcomes – for example, by improving readiness of teams to respond effectively to situations or to improve skill and speed.
  • Reducing Overuse ( This element discusses concepts, terminology, the history of concerns and how interventions to address overuse target multiple drivers.
  • Workplace Conditions ( This element reviews the evidence for three workplace conditions that matter for improving quality and safety in healthcare: staffing; psychological safety, teamwork, and speaking up; and staff health and well-being at work.
  • Governance and Leadership ( This element sets out what the terms governance and leadership mean and how thinking about them has developed over time.
  • Health Economics ( This element examines economic perspectives on improving quality and safety in healthcare.
  • Approaches to Spread, Scale-Up, and Sustainability ( This element outlines how spread, scale-up, and sustainability have been defined and operationalised, highlighting areas of ambiguity and contention.
  • Statistical Process Control ( Using case studies, this element shows that statistical process control methodology is widely used in healthcare because it offers an intuitive, practical, and robust approach to supporting efforts to monitor and improve healthcare.
  • Design Creativity ( This element examines the role of design creativity within the context of healthcare improvement. (available from 28 May 2024).
  • Values and Ethics ( This element demonstrates the ethical considerations and rich array of values that inevitably underpin both the goals of healthcare improvement (what aspects of quality or what kinds of good are pursued) and how improvement work is undertaken. (available from 16 April 2024)

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