Diabetes Quality Programme - Quality Improvement Collaborative

Our QI Collaborative supported multidisciplinary teams over a nine-month training programme to share processes and develop new models of care to improve health outcomes.

This programme ran for five years until March 2023.

Our Impact report 2022 highlights the impact this programme had on paediatric diabetes units across England and Wales from 2018 to early 2023. Our Self-assessment report 2018-2022 evaluates the units' compliance against more than 150 measures.


As part of the Programme, teams participated in a national Quality Improvement (QI) collaborative. The aim was to provide multidisciplinary (MDT) teams with the support and tools to identify, design and analyse their own interventions specific to the needs of the children and young people and their families that they care for.

This was a nine-month programme of training in QI methodology led by an expert QI trainer and comprising four events. We concluded with a celebratory day where units present their QI initiatives.

In the celebratory day for the pilot collaborative (see highlights in the below video), these initiatives included carb counting at diagnosis, self-management resources in the community, access to download technology, support for patients on pumps and the outpatient clinic experience. Eighteen months on, the units in the pilot have demonstrated an accelerated decrease in median HbA1c levels over the course of the collaborative, reporting up to 10% of improvement within a year.


Our podcasts aim to provide information and inspiration on all aspects of quality improvement in children and young people’s diabetes services. They were produced in 2020 and 2021.

Episode 1 – Our QI Collaborative Journey, with Sheffield Children’s Hospital

In our first episode, consultant paediatrician Dr Carrie Mackenzie reflects on her team’s journey throughout the QI Collaborative programme and offers recommendations to teams wishing to embark on quality improvement projects of their own.

Episode 2 – Reflections from QI Champions

Dr Dita Aswani, Dr Carrie Mackenzie and Dr Fiona Campbell talk with Dr Megan Peng and Dr Tricia Woodhead about their team's involvement in the early waves of the QI Collaborative.

Episode 3 - Developing a transition service

We speak with the team at Warrington and Halton NHS Trust on how they have developed their transition service through applying quality improvement (QI) methods, engaging with children and young people and gaining feedback from parents and carers.

Episode 4 - Patient advocacy and transition

We speak to Jo Kitchen and Amanda Grayson, Patient Advocates at the Calderdale and Huddersfield Trust, about their unique role in supporting young people with diabetes, and their Quality Improvement project on transition.

Episode 5 - Improving clinic experience

We speak to Liz Baker (Consultant Paediatrician) and Jo Ellis (Paediatric Diabetes Specialist Nurse) from York Teaching Hospitals about their QI project aimed at improving the clinic experience for patients. We also talk about their experience of taking part in the QI Collaborative.

Episode 6 - Improving time in range

We speak to Dr Chizo Agwu (Clinical Lead), Dr Charlotte Avann (Consultant Paediatrician) and Lizbeth Hudson (Paediatric Diabetes Specialist Nurse) from the Sandwell and West Birmingham Team about their QI project aimed at improving time in range.

Videos on the microsite

The QI Collaborative had its own microsite - diabetes-quality.rcpch.ac.uk.

This includes more than 20 short instructional videos on many aspects of QI, including measurement for improvement, complex systems, model for change and reliability. These are short, can be accessed remotely and are easy to share via WhatsApp. They were provided as part of the virtual QI collaborative, but also serve as useful refreshers for teams.

It also has webinars on relevant topics with knowledgeable experts from paediatric diabetes services being organised by the Programme, as well as presentations of the QI projects organised by paediatric diabetes services as part of their QI journey. These are an excellent opportunity for sharing good practices and learning from each other.