The Yorkshire and Humber Improvement Fellowship Scheme: a movement for improvement

Over the last 10 years, many health and care individuals in Yorkshire have been trained in structured approaches to improvement. There are also many others without formal training who are also trying to improve the care and services they deliver. We are aware that commonly, many of these individuals struggle to make an impact in their own organisation and often feel isolated.

With this in mind, the Yorkshire and Humber Improvement Academy developed and established a peer-led Improvement Fellowship Network. We have discovered and continue to bring together a diverse range of enthusiastic improvement individuals. Some are experts but many are simply interested in improving the care they deliver. Our vision has always been that by forming this network, all these individuals should in the first instance feel supported but at the same time become a force for positive change across the region. The Fellowship scheme is a platform for empowering and enabling the spread of individuals' programmes of quality and safety improvement within their own organisation and then across the network.

We provide opportunities and bespoke support to our Fellows to develop themselves as improvement leaders from their current position. The Academy has also provided funding to pay for regular sessions to ensure protected time for the Improvement Fellows where appropriate.

We are proud of what it has achieved so far. We now have nearly 200 Fellows who are predominantly front line Clinicians but also Managers, Executives, Academics and more recently Patient Leaders. A recent survey of the Fellows showed that they felt the network is helping and supported them in their improvement endeavours and reducing their sense of isolation. The aim of the Improvement Fellows' Network is to provide an inclusive not exclusive "home" for Improvers and in doing so:-

  • Build a more supportive broader regional environment in which improvement can flourish and grow
  • Create a critical mass of experience in quality and safety improvement methods in the region
  • Share learning and expertise about how we can provide better care
  • Speed up the spread and adoption of best practice between NHS organisations
  • Collaborate with leading academics to develop innovative approaches to quality and safety improvement



Dr. Rod Kersh - Consultant in Medicine for Older People

Consultant Physician & Geriatrician Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Interests – patient safety, dementia and delirium, holistic and person-centred care.

Deborah Clark - Senior Lecturer in Adult Nursing, Sheffield Hallam University

Deborah's clinical background is in Acute and Critical Care Nursing. To enhance care quality and patient safety, Deborah is currently leading the integration of Human Factors teaching into undergraduate and post graduate nursing education at Sheffield Hallam University. This is being achieved through working with several external parties.

Deborah has a keen interest in simulation based learning and coordinates a one day acute care course for student nurses and student doctor's which utilises this teaching methodology. She has published and presented both nationally and internationally on this subject. Deborah is currently undertaking a Masters in healthcare education.

Lisa Hilder - Assistant Director for Strategic Planning, North East Lincolnshire CCG

Lisa is Assistant Director for Strategic Planning at North East Lincolnshire CCG. She came into the NHS on the Gateway to Leadership scheme in 2006 and since then has worked in Mental Health, the Acute sector and latterly in Commissioning. Her areas of interest include innovation and improvement and current projects include cross sector working on wound management supported by web based technology as well as changing practice in primary care with video consultations and e-consultations.

Dr. Donald Richardson - Consultant Physician, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dr Donald Richardson has been a consultant physician in nephrology and general medicine at York Hospitals NHS Trust since 2001. Currently he works as a IT Clinical lead for York NHS Hospitals Trust with an interest in patient safety, human factors design and patient flow.

Dr. Dimple Vyas - Consultant Anaesthetist, Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

Dimple Vyas, MBBS, MD, FRCA, a 2012-2013 Health Foundation Quality Improvement Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, is a Consultant Anaesthetist with Special Interest in Chronic Pain Management. Dimple works at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust (CHFT), providing anaesthetics for major orthopaedic and urology surgeries and pain management services, as part of a team, for patients living with Chronic Pain.

Nick White RN, FHEA - Senior Lecturer in Adult Nursing

Nick is a Register Nurse with a background and BMed Sci (Hons) in Acute and Critical Care Nursing. He is currently a Senior Lecturer in Adult Nursing with a special interest in clinical simulation and human factors. He worked as a clinical educator at Rotherham Hospital for over two years, where he set up the clinical simulation centre from its inception. He is currently the clinical simulation lead for Nursing & Midwifery at Sheffield Hallam University. He graduated from University of Hertfordshire with an MSc in Health and Medical Simulation. He also recently graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a PgCert in Healthcare Education with NMC Teacher Status.

Nick is part of the team that has led the introduction of a new patient safety & human factors syllabus within the new BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies curriculum at SHU. The team have developed learning outcomes and interactive sessions for both standalone human factors sessions, as well embedding human factors learning outcomes into other subject areas of the curriculum.

Nick is also an Advanced Life Support (ALS) instructor and has taught on many ALS courses and Immediate Life Support (ILS) courses. This comprises of both the technical and non-technical skills required for caring for patients who are either peri- or in cardiac-arrest. Nick is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

Dr. Ali Cracknell - Consultant in Medicine for Older People

Ali is a Consultant in Medicine for Older People, at St James’s University Hospital in Leeds. She has a passion for patient safety and improvement, in particular implementing innovations in patient safety into frontline clinical practice. She has worked over recent years on successful frontline QI projects including reducing harm from misplaced nasogastric feeding tubes, reducing falls and reducing cardiac arrests.

She has been involved in the Improvement Academy from the start, leading the model and scale up within Leeds Teaching Hospitals.

Hilary Gledhill, RN. MSc.- Director of Quality & Governance/Executive Nurse

Hilary is a Registered Nurse with over 30 years experience of working in the NHS in both acute and community care and more recently as the commissioning nurse in East Riding of Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Throughout her career both as a clinician and as a manager Hilary has had a strong interest in practice development to improve quality and patient safety and has always worked in roles where she has been able to maximise opportunities for quality improvement. Specific areas of interest for Hilary are leading collaborative improvement programmes across Health Economies to develop and facilitate quality improvement linking their delivery to commissioning enablers to incentivise delivery.

Recently Hilary has led the implementation of the Francis 2 recommendations across the Hull and East Riding Health economy where she has worked with providers, other commissioners and the Public to maximise quality and patient safety in light of the recommendations.

The Health Foundation Q Fellows

Find out more about becoming a Q Fellow in Yorkshire and Humber

Further Information

Improvement Fellows' Spring Networking Event - Full Presentation

For more informatiion on Q visit the Q Website

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Key Dates

  • Spring 2018 - Yorkshire and Humber Improvement Fellows and Q Members' Networking event, details tbc







Alison Lovatt


01274 283934