The Q initiative

Together with the Health Foundation, we are working to develop an ambitious initiative that will connect and support people with safety and wider quality improvement expertise across the country.

The Q initiative (formerly referred to as ‘5,000 Safety Fellows’) has been developed to create a connected community, working to improve health care quality across the UK. Through Q, we are bringing together a diverse range of people, from frontline clinicians, managers and researchers to policy makers, patient leaders and those bringing expertise from other industries. The aim is to connect a critical mass of people with around 5,000 participants by 2020.

The initiative will cultivate the connections that are urgently needed so the NHS can ensure patient care everywhere in the UK can fully benefit from leading innovations and the expertise within the system.


Q is a result of the 2013 Berwick Report which recommended a ‘national system of NHS Improvement Fellowships, to recognise the talent of staff and improvement capability and enable this to be available to other organisations’.

The Health Foundation and NHS England have committed an initial £2m of funding for 2015 to develop and deliver this long-term initiative.

Recruitment of participants

We want to ensure the design of Q meets the needs of both those involved with improvement work and of the needs of the wider health care system.

To achieve this, we have worked with partners in the health service to appoint a founding cohort of participants who will help to design, refine and test Q during the remainder of 2015. This will help us ensure it becomes an  embedded part of how people learn and work across organisations.

This design process will inform a wider recruitment campaign which will start in 2016. If you are interested in applying for Q in the future, please register on the website to receive updates and details of future opportunities to get involved.

Further information

Further information can be found on the Health Foundation website.