Quality Improvement

Quality Improvement

Done well, quality improvement can deliver sustained improvements not only in the quality, experience, productivity, and outcomes of care, but also in the lives of the people working in healthcare.

The QI section of the website aims to provide the Intensive Care community with the support required to start to develop QI projects and signpost to educational material in Quality Improvement techniques. The faculty have been an integral part in providing topics for the QI compendium “Raising the Standards” (Royal College of Anaesthetists  4th Ed September 2020). It became clear when compiling the chapter that within the Intensive Care community there is a wider appetite for Intensive Care specific QI projects. The aim is to build up a repository of QI projects relevant to the speciality and we would welcome ideas from the Intensive Care community from all the four nations of the UK. Please email contact@ficm.ac.uk if with your suggestions.

Included below are links to websites providing educational resources for understanding and implementing QI in healthcare. Please note that the Faculty has no responsibility for the content of external websites. 


The Quality Improvement Compendium by the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCOA), previously known as the Audit Recipe Book, provides a manual of quality improvement (QI) and audit tools to stimulate improvement work. The recipes can be used as basic templates or adapted to specific needs. Intensive Care Medicine is covered in Chapter 9.

The FICM Safety Bulletins started in 2020 to identify incidents/themes that caused moderate/severe harm or death, via the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS). The aim is to stimulate learning and reflection on local unit practice to help reduce risk.

The Health Foundation is an independent charitable organisation. The website offers links to resources and articles to support improvement work within the NHS. They also offer QI fellowships.

The Scottish Intensive Care Society Audit Group (SICSAG) website provides audit information on the quality of provision of critical care in Scotland. This data can then be used to inform and drive quality improvement work, service planning and research.

The Safe Anaesthesia Liaison Group (SALG) is a collaborative project between the Association of Anaesthetists, Royal College of Anaesthetists and NHS England/ NHS Improvement patient safety team. It reviews and analyses anaesthesia-related serious incidents reported to the National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS).

The Health Services Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB), which came into operation on 1st October 2023. HSSIB was created due to the changes made by the Health and Care Act 2022 to give independent, statutory status to what was previously known as the HSIB. HSSIB investigates patient safety concerns across England with the aim of improving NHS care, by sharing what it learns from patient safety incidents at a national level.

BMJ Open Quality is a peer-reviewed open access journal covering the full spectrum of healthcare improvement work. There are also resources available to help you run your own improvement projects.

The Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC) gathers audit data from intensive care units across England to provide information on the quality of care to apply to research, commissioning and health outcomes improvement work.

QI Education & Training

The Health Education England (HEE) learning platform e-Learning for Healthcare (e-LfH) has a large variety of  learning streams. It is free to use, once registered, and offers the ‘Research, Audit and Quality Improvement programme’ with two modules - Research and Audit Core Knowledge and the Perioperative Improvement Science and Management (PRISM-ed) module.

The Peninsula Deanery website offers QI courses to healthcare professionals in South-West England but also has basic QI methodology articles and links to toolkits.

The Improvement Academy was established in 2013 as part of the Bradford Institute for Health Research to support innovation and improvement in delivery of health care services. The Academy is the implementation arm of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration in Yorkshire and Humber. The Academy offers a wide range of courses, toolkits and fellowships to augment learning. 

Part of the BMJ online learning platform, the Quality Improvement set offers five courses in  and 4.5 CPD points (search for ‘QI’).

The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) offer a number of courses and resources including toolkits under the RCP Quality Improvement (RCPQI) project.

Future Learn offers several healthcare change and leadership online courses. Of most relevance to QI is the ‘Quality Improvement in Healthcare: the Case for Change’ course created by the University of Bath.