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About AQuA

Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA) is a membership body which aims to improve the quality of healthcare.

We are funded by our Members and customers who include: Foundation Trusts, Mental Health Trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups and Local Authorities.

AQuA has a unique opportunity to act as a catalyst for change across the North West of England and beyond.

AQuA 2014/15 Work Programme

Our vision for the future

AQuA’s vision for the future is that over the next decade we will support our members and customers to transform the health and quality of healthcare for the people they serve.

This means tackling the many challenges which we face in terms of the underlying health of the population and the way that services are currently organised and delivered.

For non-member customers it means identifying how we can most add value to your work, whilst at the same time gaining new learning and insights that will be of benefit across the AQuA membership.

Provides easy access to the best available evidence and to examples of good practice locally and globally. Supplies benchmarked intelligence to highlight opportunities for improvement and to measure progress.  
Offers a range of quality improvement initiatives to engage frontline staff and leaders in developing innovative solutions and rapidly spreading best practice.
Links the Membership directly to the best UK and international expertise through partnerships with organisations such as The King’s Fund and the Nuffield Trust.
Presents opportunities for learning about improvement for all groups of staff, It will bring together like minded individuals in ‘communities of practice’ to develop their knowledge and skills as part of the AQuA Associates programme.  

Latest News

October’s edition of AQuA news is now available, follow the Publications link to access this and other AQuA material.

AQuA’s CEO David Fillingham is co-author with Belinda Weir of a new The King’s Fund publication titled:

System leadershipLessons and learning from AQuA’s Integrated Care Discovery Communities

This paper seeks to identify the skills, knowledge and behaviours required of new system leaders and to learn from systems attempting to combine strong organisational leadership with collaborative system-level leadership approaches. The paper draws on three years’ development work with leaders in health care systems in north-west England, undertaken by the Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA) and The King’s Fund which has adopted a ‘discovery’ approach to developing integrated care and the leadership capabilities supporting it.

View the publication now at: http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/system-leadership

AQuA has signed up to safety as an organisation as part of the Sign up to Safety national campaign


AQuA’s five pledges are to:

  • Put safety first. Commit to reduce avoidable harm in the NHS by half and make public the goals and plans developed locally.
  • Continually learn. Make member organisations more resilient to risks, by acting on the feedback from patients and by constantly measuring and monitoring how safe their services are.
  • Honesty. Be transparent with people about their progress to tackle patient safety issues and support staff to be candid with patients and their families if something goes wrong.
  • Collaborate. Take a leading role in supporting local collaborative learning, so that improvements are made across all of the local services that patients use.
  • Support. Help people understand why things go wrong and how to put them right. Give staff the time and support to improve and celebrate the progress.

AQuA features in a new Health Foundation learning report: Effective networks for improvement

The learning report identifies key lessons and a new framework to develop and manage effective networks to support quality improvement in healthcare.

This report offers those contemplating setting up and managing effective networks a promising framework to lead and engage in work to improve quality. It will help those who want to use networks as a mechanism for change, and guide improvement leaders to ensure their networks are designed and run in line with what works best.

While there is no ‘one size fits all’ formula for network design, the report does present a new framework, the ’5C wheel’ that has five core features that have been identified as key for an effective and successful network. The features are: – common purpose – cooperative structure – critical mass – collective intelligence – community building The learning report presents the key findings from the evidence review, undertaken by McKinsey Hospital Institute.

The review drew on the literature, empirical evidence and used seven established networks as case studies to describe the component parts of a successful improvement network.

View the report here

Evaluation of the Integrated Care Communities 2 Programme (incorporating the Integration Discovery Community)

In April 2013 the Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA) commissioned the Office for Public Management (OPM) to evaluate its Integrated Care Community 2 (ICC2) programme; the remit was subsequently expanded to incorporate learning from the Integration Discovery Community (IDC) programme.
The evaluation focuses on assessing which programme elements are:

— Most valued by the members and why
— High impact and the evidence to support this
— Least valued by the members and why
— Missing from the programmes and the value they would add

The evaluation also explores the economic implications and impact of integrated care, and presents short case studies examining the activities within the participating economies.

View the report here