Building capability for improvement

Alongside practical implementation support, we are working to leave a legacy of increased capacity and capability in practices and federations to lead service improvement. A clear picture is emerging of the kind of capabilities which practices and at-scale collaborations such as federations will need in order to innovate, improve and transform services. These are presented in the capability framework below.


General Practice Improvement Leader programme

Having clinicians and mangers with quality improvement skills is key to successful change. Free places will be provided on the General Practice Improvement Leader training programme from NHS England’s sustainable improvement team. This is a successful 9 month personal development programme to build confidence and skills for leading service redesign in your practice or federation.

The programme incorporates interactive training workshops, personal reading and reflection, and action learning as participants lead a change project in their own workplace. Participants gain new perspectives, skills and confidence in using improvement science in general practice, and leading colleagues and teams through change. The approach has been successful with general practice clinicians and managers of hugely varying experience (from GP registrars and newly appointed managers to very experienced staff).

Hear previous participants talking about their experience of the training programme.

We intend to create up to 300 places per year on this training, for the next three years.

Who is it for?

The programme is for those working in general practice, including GPs, practice managers and nurses; also project managers and facilitators actively working with general practice to support the GP Forward View.  Delegates will need to bring a live project to work actively on during the programme.

What are the benefits?

  • Personal development: how to deliver change and engage people in the process.
  • Building local capability: apply new skills and knowledge to support own practice and wider local area in achieving its goals
  • Potential to accelerate change locally by working on a chosen improvement project focused around one of the 10 High Impact Actions for general practice
  • Learning alongside others from general practice and become part of a wider improvers network

What does it look like?

A modular programme of up to six days in total, completed at the delegate’s own pace, over a minimum of four months.  Each module builds personal learning and the ability to help others use quality improvement techniques.

  • Fundamentals of change and improvement (2-day session) The elements of successful change. Practical tools and techniques for making improvements.
  • Human Dimensions of change (2 x 1-day sessions) How to engage others and work with them to make changes locally. Building effective relationships.
  • Facilitation skills (2 x 1-day sessions) Approaches to use when working with groups. Creative tools and techniques to help keep projects moving.

The Fundamentals module has to be completed first.  The remaining four days can each be booked separately if required.  Optional support webinars are offered in between each module. No prior knowledge of managing change or quality improvement is needed.  All delegates will have access to an ongoing network of resources and support within a national improvement community.

Module and webinar dates for early 2017

There has been a great deal of interest in the programme with two full cohorts that began in September and October 2016.  Feedback from participants was positive, telling us they value the “real life real time” learning they are able to take back to their practices to help local improvements happen.

Below are module and webinar dates for early 2017.  Registrations will open shortly for interested participants to book a place; this will be issued on a first come first serve basis.  If you would like to be notified of when registrations open email

Please note we are unable to reserve or pre-book participant places in advance of registrations opening.

Module Topic London Birmingham
1 Preparatory webinar (optional) Thurs 5 Jan 2017, 13:00-14:00 Tues 17 Jan 2017, 13:00-14:00
1 Fundamentals of change and improvement (2 days) Wed 18 and Thurs 19 Jan 2017 Tues 31 Jan and Wed 1 Feb 2017
1 Support webinar (optional) Wed 8 Feb 2017, 08:30-09.30 Tues 21 Feb 2017, 13:00-14:00
2 Human Dimensions 1: Building your story to engage others (1 day) Wed 22 Feb 2017 Tues 7 Mar 2017
2 Human Dimensions 2: building effective relationships and managing conflict (1 day) Thurs 23 Feb 2017 Wed 8 Mar 2017
2 Support webinar (optional) Thurs 16 Mar 2017, 13:00-14:00 Wed 22 Mar 2017, 08:30-09:30
3 Facilitation 1: Working with groups
(1 day)
Wed 29 Mar 2017 Tues 11 Apr 2017
3 Facilitation 2: Creative Thinking and feedback (1 day) Thurs 30 Mar 2017 Wed 12 Apr 2017

What does it cost?

  • Places are free for any clinician or manager involved in facilitating service redesign in general practice
  • Overnight accommodation with group meal is provided free for the middle night if attending on consecutive days.
  • Travel costs are not funded. Delegates will need to arrange their own travel as needed.

Find out more

Join one of our regular webinars. These are an opportunity to hear more about how a Time for Care programme can benefit your practices and federation, about how the General Practice Improvement Leader Programme could benefit clinicians and managers in your area.

Apply to join the programme

Complete the Expression of Interest form.

National improvement community for primary care

We will establish a new national community of practice for clinicians and managers involved in facilitating innovation, improvement and transformation in general practice and wider primary care. This will spread good ideas more quickly, help to accelerate local change and support change leaders in sustaining progress and their own resilience.

Change leaders often feel isolated, particularly in primary care, where there are relatively few people skilled in improvement science and transformational change. Having received initial training in improvement science, many do not have other opportunities to maintain or grow their skills. Recruiting and mentoring others is hard work.

The new national improvement community will seek to address these challenges by creating a community of practice supported by regular networking and access to advanced coaching in improvement and transformational change. It will be facilitated by NHS England’s general practice development team and provide access to national policy leaders and international improvement experts as well as creating rich peer-to-peer networks. A programme of national and regional events will provide multiple opportunities for members to share and learn together, and this will be augmented by online networking and webinars.

The full programme for the community will be announced in September 2016. Membership will be free.