Short course

Service Development and Quality Improvement

Start date
New Dates TBC
One day
Time commitment
8 (teaching) and 4-8 (reading course materials)
Face-to-face and online
£150 standard cost; £75 to the first 15 University Hospitals Birmingham employees who apply for a place (must provide proof of UHB employment)

A hybrid course introducing the principles of quality improvement, including major improvement science theories and how to approach data analysis.

This one-day course is aimed at health professionals and managers interested in learning more about quality improvement (QI). It consists of several lectures and small group exercises with the course instructors. This includes practising plan-do-study-act cycles, application of theory of constraints to a patient pathway, and the opportunity to discuss project planning, including process mapping. Lectures introduce the principles of the model for improvement, Lean, Six Sigma and Experience Based Co-Design, as well as giving a national context for QI in England. The course is delivered by experienced clinicians and researchers with interests in QI, healthcare service design and management.

This course is directly linked to content from the pre-existing MSc course – Respiratory Medicine.

Programme team:

Tutors have a range of backgrounds, to promote interdisciplinary working, including staff from the College of Medical and Dental Sciences as well as College of Social Sciences: 

  • Professor Alice Turner (University of Birmingham)
  • Dr Iain Snelling (University of Birmingham)
  • Dr Sandhya Duggal (University of Birmingham)
  • Dr Ian Woolhouse (Unversity Hospitals Birmingham)
  • Dr Bosong Yin (University Hospitals Birmingham)

Dates of the course:

New Dates TBC.

Place availability:

15 places face-to-face, unlimited hybrid

Course content:

  • Introduction to quality improvement
  • Process mapping in service design and improvement
  • Theory of constraints (practical exercise)
  • PDSA cycles and the model for improvement (practical exercise)
  • Experience based co-design in healthcare
  • Group exercise: exploring your QI ideas & setting up a project
  • Improving services: a national perspective

The training day will run face-to-face, but all sessions except the practical parts of those in italics will be available in a virtual format as well. This will be in the form of access to recordings of lectures with asynchronous tutor contact for questions and feedback on process maps and QI project plans. For students accessing virtually this may be done individually rather than in groups.

How to apply:

Registration will open once new dates are confirmed. In the meantime, please contact to express your interest.

The courses have minimum required attendance levels, and the University reserves the right to cancel or postpone the course if the minimum required number of delegates has not been achieved for the course.

See how the University of Birmingham uses your data, view the Event attendee privacy notice

This course is aimed at health professionals and managers interested in learning more about quality improvement (QI).


The course is not accredited.

Course results:

Certificate of completion confirming hours of completed study.

Learning outcomes:

  • Describe the major improvement science theories (Model for Improvement, Lean & Six Sigma)
  • Understand process mapping as it pertains to evaluation in healthcare
  • Understand the impact of a constraint within a clinical pathway
  • Understand the role of patient input to healthcare service design
  • Understand how to conduct a quality improvement project using multiple PDSA cycles
  • Set up and interpret run charts and SPC charts
  • Describe methods to foster good teamwork when improving healthcare