Evaluation of the Advancing Quality Alliance's Whole System Flow programme

SQW delivered a formative evaluation of the Whole System Flow programme for the Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA). AQuA is a health and care quality improvement membership organisation, based in the North West of England. They have a strong reputation for innovation and improvement expertise, and received funding from the Health Foundation to develop and implement the Whole System Flow programme.

The programme is based on AQuA's 'four arrows' model (focusing on people, workforce, information and finance & resources), and is designed to enable local health and care partners to unpick and truly understand a specific key challenge or issue affecting their locality. Once the issue has been identified and understood, the partners will be supported to jointly identify solutions and to put these in place. AQuA's programme delivery is structured around intensive quality improvement support on site and tailored workshops for the participating systems. To date this includes Wigan, Bolton, Liverpool, Stockport, Lancashire, North West Boroughs, and Heywood Middleton and Rochdale.

SQW evaluated the programme's design and implementation via semi-structured interviews, workshops, document review and focus groups with people with lived experience. The evaluation concluded in 2020 and AQuA published a summary of our findings. Key findings included:

  • There was emerging evidence of improved flow in the wave one systems
  • Culture change is a foundation for ongoing initiatives, future understanding of the system and development of new solutions
  • Lived Experience is hugely valuable in generating a mandate for change and providing insight into problems and potential solutions
  • The programme left a legacy of knowledge and expertise
  • The programme generated a tested, replicable model for addressing problems with flow

The findings informed future system transformation programmes and AQuA's support offer.

For more information about SQW's evaluation, please contact Lauren Roberts, SQW Director, via lroberts@sqw.co.uk.