RCPCH EQIP - Epilepsy Quality Improvement Programme

On 17 June 2019 we launched the first paediatric epilepsy QI collaborative pilot in England and Wales. RCPCH EQIP will support epilepsy service teams to identify sustainable improvements within their services for children and young people with epilepsy. Our pilot provides 12 paediatric epilepsy teams with practical training and support, and helps them uncover the gaps in service provision and develop interventions that meet their specific needs.

Residential training weekend

Our two-day residential weekend with the 12 teams participating in our pilot took place on 16 and 17 November 2019.

It kicked off with interactive QI training - paediatric epilepsy NHS staff worked together to identify gaps and find sustainable improvements that would be tried and tested over the six-month programme.

The teams worked hard, learning and using many of the QI tools to help support them refine their local improvement projects. But the programme also included fun action learning sets and networking - breaking those silo barriers. By the end of the second day, each of the teams left the weekend energised and with a plan of action to move forward with their projects.

The spring 2020 edition of Milestones, our member magazine has a piece from an EQIP Pioneer. Further feedback from EQIP team members from the weekend include:

Witnessing the motivation and commitment from everyone, and within the teams.

Interactive games/activities, eg skittles and pasta tasks, which highlighted QI in an abstract way.

All activities associated with practical application of QI models to our projects.

Having the opportunity for the team to write a plan and evaluate out aims, and how to change and improve.

RCPCH EQIP | Epilepsy quality improvement programme

Participant teams on the programme

  • Aneurin Bevan University Health Board
  • Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Foundation
  • Guy's and St Thomas' hospital foundation Trust
  • Luton and Dunstable University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust
  • South Tees hospital Foundation Trust
  • Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust
  • York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Monthly support calls

Since the weekend residential, we've had monthly support calls with the 12 EQIP Champion representatives.

We have been so impressed with the time and energy that the EQIP teams are putting to their project - despite the challenges that teams may face in terms of available time and capacity. It really is great to hear the team journeys so far and what they have since achieved.

World Café event

On Tuesday 19 May 2020 we'll host a one-day celebratory event. Each EQIP team will showcase their improvement projects and reflect on their journey as a team, sharing their lessons learnt and successes.

They'll become the pioneers of this programme.

What is RCPCH EQIP?

The RCPCH Epilepsy12 audit project team, in collaboration with the Organisation of Paediatric Epilepsy Networks in the UK (OPEN UK), has developed a model for a comprehensive Quality Improvement (QI) programme. This is tailored to support paediatric epilepsy teams to work together to define their shared aims and develop practical interventions matching their capacity and resources.

The six-month programme has been developed in consultation with epilepsy practitioners, ensuring that it best suits the needs of teams providing epilepsy care while also borrowing from a similar model delivered with success in paediatric diabetes in the UK. This model was originally applied in Sweden, where it was used by 85% of paediatric diabetes services over the period of three years who, over that time period, managed to significantly improve treatment outcomes and reduce variation between units1.

Objectives and aims

Each participating team:

  • completes a comprehensive, multi-skill development training programme, delivered free of charge by a professional team from the RCPCH 
  • receives support in developing a transformative change for their team and care processes, towards lasting improvement
  • has an opportunity to work with other teams from across England and Wales, learning from their experiences
  • shares their improvement projects via the RCPCH QI Central website and other communication channels
  • receives a CPD certificate for all individual team members for every learning event attended.

Our video explains more. 

How does it work?

Participation in the pilot requires time and energy, which it is sometimes hard to find when stretched by the requirements of day-to-day service delivery. However, often putting that initial time in helps teams to find ways to do things with less effort, yet more impact, later on. We did not have any restrictions regarding how big or small a team can be but lots of enthusiasm and dedication was a must! The pilot ran an application process to apply as a team for a space on the programme. Over 30 applications were received to join the programme. We would say a big thank to all the teams who took the time to submit their application! 

Teams will be given hands-on support during and between training sessions to help design their interventions with opportunities to learn from other teams participating in RCPCH EQIP.

The participating teams come together for two bespoke training / sharing events, which support them to:

  • develop more cohesive teams with clearly defined roles and a shared sense of mission and responsibility
  • identify areas for improvement in care delivery
  • design sustainable interventions to address these areas, that are manageable within their existing set-up.

Residential training and monthly support calls

A residential training (with combined monthly support calls) will include a mixture of learning QI and CYP engagement methodologies, alongside team exercises, taught by professional QI trainers/facilitators. The training is practical and hands on, combining select quality improvement tools, high-performing team development, patient and family engagement, leadership and influencing skills. We have deliberately picked and chosen elements of quality improvement methodology and combined it with other types of skills training, to provide a package which will correspond to the working reality of epilepsy teams, who we know are often struggling with staffing capacity, fragmented teamwork and limited resourcing.

What is the cost of participating?

The RCPCH EQIP pilot is free to all participant paediatric epilepsy service teams except for travel.

Where did the training take place?

The learning events for the pilot were held in the Midlands, at a location with good transport links to ensure maximum possible convenience for units travelling in from across the country. Successful applicants were provided with details confirming the exact training venues and locations.

What do we mean by a team?

We know that it can be a challenge to define and identify what an epilepsy team is, given the complexity of the care pathway across a healthcare setting. However, having a cohesive team has been consistently flagged as an important success factor, not just in epilepsy, but across many types of health services.Therefore, one of the key requirements of this programme of work was that participants attend as a whole team and learn together rather than attend as individuals. 

For this reason, we asked that every service identify all staff members who regularly contribute to the delivery of their paediatric epilepsy service who were willing to commit to participating in all of the training events and that they undertake the improvement work together. It is really important that everyone was on board and fully committed – half hearted commitment will compromise the team’s chances of success!

EQIP champions

Following on from the residential training, each team has nominated an EQIP champion. This person motivates the team between learning sessions, reports on progress to the trainers, represents their team at monthly support calls, updates the facilitator on their team's progress and uses additional advice or encouragement.

Pilot programme evaluation

An evaluation of the outcomes of the RCPCH EQIP pilot will be reported on and shared with epilepsy service staff in England and Wales, commissioners and NHS England and Welsh government.

    • 1. Samuelsson, U. et al. (2016). “Continued improvement of metabolic control in Swedish paediatric diabetes care”.Pediatric Diabetes, 3 November, 2016
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