Sharing the learning, one year on – HEI Challenge for Patient Supported Quality Improvement in Health and Social Care

logoFunded by the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network in April 2015, the HEI Challenge Award has been a unique opportunity for East Midlands universities to demonstrate excellence in teaching and research for health and social care professionals. The project sought to foster a sustainable approach to working collaboratively across the region to drive positive experiences and outcomes for learners and local employers for the benefit of our population. The Higher Education Institution (HEI) Challenge Award is a cross‐university collaboration, established to share, develop, showcase and spread work across the region around the topic of healthcare quality improvement. Our approach to this Challenge has focussed on four main themes:

  • The involvement of service users, carers and the public in educational design, delivery, and review: showing how service user and carer involvement is leading to better teaching and research.
  • Innovative deployment of digital technology within health and social care education: showing how technology is being used to enhance the learner quality of the journey in university and practice settings.
  • Interdisciplinary education as a way of supporting quality improvement in health and social care education: showing the positive effects of interdisciplinary education on the understanding and practice of health and social care staff.
  • A focus on quality improvement in research and education involving health and social care staff and students.

Just one year later, on 14th June 2016, over one hundred people (staff, learners and the public) participated in the HEI Challenge Showcase Conference at the Enterprise Centre in Derby to share in the learning from the project. This also marked the launch of the HEI Challenge website (https// designed to act as a repository to capture and share excellent practice in the project themes. The HEI Challenge has demonstrated a wide range of outstanding teaching and research being provided to health and social care workers deciding to study and practice in the East Midlands. The collaborative working and sharing of learning has stimulated further innovation and development in the participating universities and NHS organisations which they are working with. In particular this has led to an integration of the HEI Challenge and East Midlands QI Network for bridging the gap between patient supported quality improvement in education, research and practice.

Follow us on Twitter: @qi_learning

For further information:

East Midlands QI Network – contact Cheryl Crocker

HEI Challenge – contact Professor Niro Siriwardena (

For further information visit our website:

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