NELFT Quality Improvement Services Support and Resources

QI Support

Clinical Audit and NICE

Once you have decided on your topic you should register your audit project using the latest version of the Clinical audit proposal form with the Trust Audit Facilitators. This will need to be agreed with the Audit Supervisor prior to sending the form to the team. Please see the guidance for help in completing your proposal.

Below are a range of support tools, resources and templates to help you through each stage of your clinical audit.

During Clinical Audit 






Additional Audit Support



Quality Improvement Projects

Below are a range of support tools, resources and templates to help you through each stage of your quality improvement journey.

Life QI Platform

Used by over 600 organisations in 28 countries, Life QI is helping organisations and individuals improve health and social care in communities around the world.

Life QI is more than just a project management system, it is a space for the QI community to learn, share and work together. You can create groups to work together on projects and programmes, start discussions on local issues with colleagues or the big challenges and involve anyone in the QI community.

You need to be validated through NELFT staff or those on NELFT courses click here, external staff would have to check with your own organisation.

Help Centre with guides to support you with your project: .

Funding through the Innovation Cave

Do you have a project or an innovative idea that requires some funding to get started?

The Innovation Cave could help you!

NELFT recognises the importance of encouraging innovation and improvement across the organisation. The Innovation Cave is a means of financially supporting staff and services in seeking new ways to improve the services they provide and helps to put into practice ideas to benefit patients and deliver care more effectively.

How do you apply?

We are now accepting applications!  Download the application form and please submit your application form to:

Innovation Cave Application form:

Innovation Cave Application Form

What do you need to know?

  • You can apply for any amount from £500 - £10,000. However, please come and speak to us, if you have an idea that exceeds this amount - we may be able to help you explore other funding opportunities!
  • The focus of the Innovation Cave is on innovation and improvement, as opposed to service gaps.
  • Interviews are held for those projects that meet the requirements and this date will be advised in advance to enable you to hold it in your diary.

What support do you have?

  • You are also welcome to come to attend our QI drop-in clinics if you have any questions or would like some guidance with your application:

What happens next?

  • There is a limited budget available, therefore bids will be assessed, and funds awarded to those which appear to offer the greatest benefits to patients or staff.
  • If your application is shortlisted, you will be invited to an interview to discuss your project. If successful, you will be required to attend a NELFT QI Foundation Day if you have not already attended.
  • If you are successful, you will be required to submit monthly reports of project progress and to share the results of the project at future internal and external Quality Improvement events. All funds must be used by 31 March of each financial year that the money is awarded, although the project does not have to be completed within this time.

Innovation Cave Flyer

Check out our Innovation Cave Flyer: Innovation Cave

Innovation Cave Projects

  1. Conners project case study review
  2. Waltham Forest Memory Service Audiology Project for QI microsite

Working through your QI Project

Below you can find a range of resources to help you through each step of a quality improvement project.

​​​​​​​1. Beginning your project

NHS England Tools:


Model for Improvement: 

Langley GL, Moen R, Nolan KM, Nolan TW, Norman CL, Provost LP. The Improvement Guide: A Practical Approach to Enhancing Organizational Performance  (2nd edition). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers; 2009.


Life QI Articles:

  1. Introduction to Clinical Microsystems – do you understand yours? - Clinical Microsystems (
  2. Which improvement model should I use?  ensure you are using the most relevant improvement tool for your improvement work - Which improvement method should I use? (
  3. Audit, research and QI – what’s the difference? The difference between audit and research in quality improvement (
  4. The Model for Improvement – a framework for improving - The Model for Improvement (
  5. Lean & Six Sigma Methodology – 2 methods often working side by side to help with flow, demand, waste, added value and more - Lean Methodology ( and Six Sigma (
  6. The Virginia Mason Method of Continuous Improvement – aiding the organisation to embed continuous improvement - Virginia Mason Production System (


Additional NELFT Tools: 

5Ps Assessment.pdf [pdf] 255KB

STEEEP Slope.pdf [pdf] 83KB

2. Understanding the problem

3. Involving others

A stakeholder is anyone who is involved in your project, or anyone who will be affected by the outcome of your project.  This is includes people within your service or team, as well as other professionals or colleagues in other teams who you work closely with.  Stakeholders also includes our patients and their families. It is vital to engage with stakeholders throughout each stage of the process.

NHS England Tools:

4. Setting the aim

NHS England Tools:

NELFT Tools:

7. Testing change

NHS England Tools:


Life QI Articles:

  1. Effective PDSAs – let’s get it right!  Tips for executing a PDSA effectively (
  2. What is Kaizen? Understanding quick PDSA cyles - Kaizen (Continuous Improvement) (
  3. Biggest mistakes when undertaking PDSAs – don’t fall in to the traps! Biggest mistakes when creating a PDSA cycle (

8. Learning from and sharing your work

NHS England Tools:

British Medical Journal (BMJ):

BMJ offer a variety of resources to support you getting started, such as user guides, welcome documents and posters are available on the BMJ Resource centre

They also offer training sessions available, to discuss this please email:

BMJ offer support when doing the write-up your quality improvement projects using BMJ Quality and publish them in BMJ Quality Improvement Reports. Their platform guides you through each step of the SQUIRE framework, helping you create high quality reports with excellent publication prospects.

Access is free once you register with BMJ quality

Q Community:

"We are a community of thousands of people across the UK and Ireland, collaborating to improve the safety and quality of health and care. Q is delivered by the Health Foundation and supported and co-funded by partners across the UK and Ireland." 

Click here to access