Service improvement in health and social work

Researchers at BU’s National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work (NPQSW) are sharing their successful service improvement programme with important health organisations.

Dr Steve Keen from the Centre said: “improving services is at the heart of professional practice and is as important in health environments as it is in social work. Our new approach addresses key issues around relevance and impact. It allows practitioners the opportunity to work with students to implement an improvement project.”

Having recognised the need to understand, share and engage with the culture and strategic intent of key health organisations around the topic of service improvement, staff at the Centre have created a series of high-level networking opportunities with organisations including:

NHS Improving Quality (Leeds)

Institute for Healthcare Improvement (Boston, US)

The Beryl Institute (Dallas, US)

The project will run from April through August 2014, during which time the team will meet with NHS Directors of National Improvement Programmes, and a number of hospitals in the US and UK to see first-hand how their way of doing service improvement works out in practice.

The NCPQSW programme was initially devised to fuse education and research with professional practice across BU’s School of Health and Social Care Master’s Frameworks.

Dr Lynne Rutter said: “Over the years as social work lecturers and thesis supervisors we have struggled with the traditional master’s degree dissertation and its relevance to professional practice and, in particular, social work services. That was why we designed the National Centre for Post-Qualifying Social Work’s service improvement programme which uses a robust, practice-based service improvement methodology with a focus on professional judgement.”

If you would like to find out more, please email Dr Steve Keen or Dr Lynne Rutter for more information.

The project is funded by BU’s Fusion Investment Fund, which support a range of practical initiatives where research, education and professional practice all inform each other. This unique combination is at the very heart of BU’s philosophy.