Building capability

We help build the culture and capabilities vital to the identification, development, adoption and spread of innovative practice across the regional health and care system.

Creating the opportunity for innovation, and the conditions for continuous improvement makes the most of our work with both frontline staff and strategic leaders regionally and nationally.

Our experience in large-scale change, scaling up new ideas, quality improvement and co-production with patients helps support people across the health and care system, from front-line staff to systems leaders and life sciences businesses.

Quality Improvement (QI)

We have delivered 100s of hours of quality improvement (QI) training to healthcare teams across Somerset. QI training helps to build the capability within teams to find and test change ideas and make measurable improvements for a specific challenge. The South West QI training includes the Silver QI & Culture Programme, based on the Seven Steps to Quality Improvement, developed by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Supporting the healthcare workforce

We offer a range of initiatives aimed at maximising the effectiveness of workforce teams in primary and secondary care settings, including data and capacity building in primary care, supporting leadership in primary care and personal care digital projects.

Our work has included reviewing and sharing insight to aid the spread of video consultations, supporting domiciliary care workforce teams by running an innovation challenge to find solutions that are ready for adoption and spread, and utilising rapid uptake of virtual wards innovation to assess and spread behaviour change. We also supported Devon Clinical Commissioning Group with its primary care development, designing and facilitating a bespoke workshop to help identify how they could improve clinical systems leadership, with a focus on primary care. And, working with the NHS England Personal Care team, we have led two significant projects to enhance the provision of information throughout social prescribing. We worked with 11 test sites throughout the UK and led co-design sessions with over 70 stakeholders to enhance the provision of information about social prescribing.

Spread Academy

The Spread Academy is an immersive training programme, run in partnership with the renowned US-based social change agency Billions Institute, global leaders in large-scale change, to help teams put their ideas into action and supported innovators to take their next steps.

Spread Academy equips teams and leaders in health and care with the skills they need to unleash large-scale change. Funded through our Office for Life Sciences (OLS) Innovation Exchange, 420 people have participated in our Spread Academy to date.

In March 2021, we held our third Spread Academy, focusing on tackling health inequalities, with teams from 13 organisations working in the region. We are planning our next ‘Tech for Change’ Spread Academy for October 2021, designed to support teams who’ve developed technical innovations to solve problems in community, health and care settings. For more information visit our page here or contact

Devon Change Hub

The Devon Change Hub brings together system partners in the county to accelerate quality improvement capability in the region. During 2020/21, our learning and improvement huddles were seen as crucial to the success of the Think NHS 111 First project in reducing the numbers of those attending Emergency Departments (EDs) for non-urgent care. Via the Devon Change Hub, we also provided Nightingale Hospital Exeter with organisational support, including a rapid learning report with lessons learnt from the commissioning stage of the hospital and a qualitative review of system-wide working. Our support informs ongoing work in the Devon system, including winter planning.

Our priorities for 2021/22 are as follows:

  • Continue our partnership with Somerset Quality Improvement Faculty, ensuring a systematic approach to improving and embedding positive change.
  • Develop our partnership with the Billions Institute in the USA to maximise the impact of our Spread Academy programme.
  • Support continued development and improvement through the Devon Change Hub.
  • Work with NHS Horizons to accelerate the delivery of improvement projects with Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.