The Somerset Model: How Somerset NHS Empowers Staff to Own Quality Improvement

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust is England's first fully integrated healthcare provider, serving a population of over 550,000 across Somerset.

Facing a historical reliance on external consultants, limited resources and fragmented improvement efforts, with the support of our board we transformed our approach to quality improvement (QI). Our unique approach empowers colleagues at all levels to lead and own QI projects, and has resulted in a thriving culture of improvement.

Our central Improvement team is now a hub of expertise which support QI projects across Somerset. Our team of 45 is comprised of different specialties with deep specialist expertise: from quality improvement and project management to benefits and data science.

Key takeaways:

• Empowering Changemakers: A dedicated, 45-person Improvement Team with diverse skill sets (Improvement Advisors, Facilitators, Project Managers, Data Scientists) coaches and trains staff to lead their OWN QI projects.

• Proven Framework: All projects follow our blended 7-step QI process, rooted in IHI methodology and the Quadruple Aim. All of our specialties are woven through the 7 steps. Our framework is supported by a comprehensive suite of templates, tools and resources.

• Building Capability: We offer comprehensive, tiered and CPD accredited training programmes in QI, project management, and other specialisms which equips staff at all levels to drive change.

• Sharing Success: We openly celebrate successes and learning through events, awards, and publications which fosters a collaborative and learning-oriented culture.

• Data-Driven Decision Making: Rigorous measurement and evaluation track progress, cost savings, and impact on patient experience.


• National Recognition: Awarded a Blue Plaque from the Academy of Fabulous Stuff for their "board to ward" QI culture.

• Financial Savings: £4.6 million saved annually through optimized processes.

• Improved Patient Care: Reduced waiting times and shorter hospital stays.

• Enhanced Workforce: Over 3,000 colleagues trained in QI, building a sustainable foundation for continuous improvement.

Connect with Us

To learn more about our work, please contact us at [email protected]

click on the poster below  to read and download.


  • Leadership and Management
  • Leadership and Management > Quality and Performance
  • Leadership and Management > Workforce
  • Leadership and Management > Workforce > Valuing your staff
Download acrobat reader