Quality Improvement Partner Panels

Quality Improvement Partner Panels

Quality Improvement Partner Panels (QuIPPs) support the work of health and social care organisations and innovators by involving the public in improvement projects and the development of innovation.

Quality Improvement Partner Panels (QuIPPs) were developed by the South West Academic Health Science Network and now have 32 members of the public in 4 different panels covering the south-west of England: Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Panel members come from a wide range of backgrounds and range from people with limited or no experience of healthcare, to those living with long term conditions or staff from NHS who wanted to give back through volunteering.

What we did

The first panel members were recruited in summer 2018. Recruitment took about 3 months using all forms of advertising including going to Healthwatch, reaching out to volunteering organisations, local media adverts and editorials about our work, and also using social media.

People were recruited for their passion about involvement, not their previous skills or involvement, as all of the skills we wanted to encourage were included in our training package.

The recruits did 4 day of training over the winter. This focused on the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) model for improvement and patient safety. The new panel members graduated from their training in February 2019.

Panel members meet online using video conference tools (Zoom). Organisations and people that come to us for an opinion bring short presentations about their projects, usually Quality Improvement teams or innovations from NHS and private businesses.

The presenters are sent a presentation template that asks them to include information such as the aim of the work and the data that supports it, and they are asked to use the IHI model for improvement questions to define what they intend to achieve. Panel members then give feedback and ask questions about the project, before an open discussion between panel and presenters which leads to panel members sharing their personal recommendations, thoughts and ideas.

What worked well

Both the panel members and those who present projects report that the clear guidance on presentations and the understanding of a shared methodology and language is really important.

Panel members have also stated that the initial training programme and ongoing support for their work is important to them and has made a significant impact on the quality of their own experience as volunteers.

The online approach was selected to overcome geographical issues in getting members together and to reduce the cost of involvement. This approach meant that the work of the panel could continue when physical distancing measures were introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I am pleased to say that over the 2 years this project has been running we have only lost 2 panel members, both of whom left to pursue new work opportunities. Of the 167 projects that have now been through our process, only one reported a negative experience and this was due to technical issues of connection. 97% of teams coming to panels for engagement have reported either making changes or making significant changes to their work. We have excellent feedback about both the process and the involvement of our panel members. Presenters have commented on the both the quality and clarity of the recommendations that have been made to them by panel members.


During COVID-19, engagement staff had to be drafted to front-line work, resulting in some presenters not being able to attend their previously-arranged slots. However, the number of additional requests to present to the panel has risen during this time. To meet demand we will consider the introduction of new members. However, it is important to note that this will be dependent on budgets for engagement.

The length of meetings is an important consideration to help ensure that engagement is effective. Based on our experience we have moved from 4 panels (each 90 minutes long) in a day, to 2 panels (each 2 hours long) in order to allow more time for discussion.

The presenters have fed back that they would appreciate the opportunity to present to the panels on multiple occasions to report on progress in situations where the panels have had early involvement.


If you want any more information please get in touch, or have a look at the QuIPPs website.

We are happy to share all of our supporting documents - including our training materials - with interested organisations and will do so following discussion and answering any queries directly. 

Jono Broad (Associate Director for Patient and Public Involvement, South West Academic Health Science Network)

Email: jono.broad@swahsn.com

Photo credit: Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Last Updated: 19 April 2023