RCPCH EQIP - Epilepsy Quality Improvement Programme

On 17 June we launched the first paediatric epilepsy QI collaborative pilot in England and Wales. RCPCH EQIP will help to support epilepsy service teams to identify sustainable improvements within their services for children and young people with epilepsy. Our pilot will provide up to 10 teams with practical training and support, and help them uncover the gaps in service provision and develop interventions that meet their specific needs. Applications to join the programme are now open.

Applications for the pilot opened on 17 June, and the deadline is 13 September. Read on for more details, and download the application form below.

What is the 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.

RCPCH EQIP | Epilepsy quality improvement programme

The 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.

How will it work?

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 the RCPCH EQIP.

The participating teams will come together for two bespoke training / sharing events, which will 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

The six month programme kicks off with a two-day residential training in East Midlands. This begins the afternoon of Saturday 16 November 2019, followed by dinner in the evening and a continuation of training on Sunday 17 November.

  • The residential training will include a mixture of learning QI and CYP engagement methodologies, alongside team exercises, taught by professional QI trainers/facilitators.
  • The training will be 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.
  • The pilot programme is designed to enable teams to learn and make action plans together during their training

EQIP champions

Following on from the residential training, each team will have nominated an EQIP champion. This person will motivate the team between learning sessions, report on progress to the trainers, represent their team at monthly support calls, update the facilitator on their team's progress and use additional advice or encouragement. The Champions will receive additional pre-training, follow-up meetings and individual coaching where needed.

Celebratory event and evaluation

After the teams' hard work over six months, we'll host a one-day celebratory event on Tuesday 19 May 2020. Teams will each showcase their improvement projects and reflect on their journey as a team, sharing their lessons learnt and successes.

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.

What do we mean by a team?

We know that it might 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 is that participants attend as a whole team and learn together rather than attend as individuals. 

For this reason, we ask that every service interested in applying identifies all staff members who regularly contribute to the delivery of their paediatric epilepsy service who are 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 is on board and fully committed – half hearted commitment will compromise your team’s chances of success!

    What is the cost of participating?

    The RCPCH EQIP pilot is free to all epilepsy service teams. The Epilepsy12 project team will cover the costs of: 

    • the training programme and support materials
    • the event training venues and catering
    • overnight accommodation and evening dinner (on the Saturday) for the residential training on 16-17 November 2019
    • venue and catering for the one-day celebratory event on 19 May 2020

    The only thing we ask is for participants to organise and finance their own travel to and from the meeting venues. (Car parking is free.)

    Training venues

    • The learning events will be held in the Midlands, at a location with good transport links to ensure maximum possible convenience for units travelling in from across the country. 
    • The initial overnight residential event will take place over the weekend of 16-17 November 2019 and the one-day follow up event will take place on 19 May 2020.
    • Free car parking will be available as well as access to good transport links near the venues
    • Successful applicants will be provided with details confirming the exact training venues and locations.

    Is it right for our team?

    We know that participation 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 do not have any restrictions regarding how big or small a team can be. The only requirements are those listed above, along with lots of enthusiasm and dedication!

    Each participating team will:

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

    What are we asking of you?

    All interested teams need to complete the application form and indicate: 

    • a statement of purpose and expected outcomes for their team
    • that they have the capacity for the whole team to take part in the training on the indicated dates
    • a named clinical champion selected by the team 
    • formal sign-off from their senior Health Board/Trust management and Epilepsy12 Designated Lead/Tertiary lead

    Upon being selected for the collaborative pilot programme, teams will also be expected to complete: 

    • a short online module in introduction to QI methodology (provided free of charge)
    • an online survey for the purpose of further evaluation of the team’s progress.

    Application process

    Teams are invited to apply as a whole, with everyone attending training events together for the six months. All teams will need to have their applications signed off by either senior Health Board/Trust management or Epilepsy12 Designated Lead/ Tertiary lead. 

    What do I need to do next?

    Consider who your team members are, whether they are willing to participate, their availability on the training dates and other eligibility criteria (as above). Once those elements have been confirmed, please complete the application form below, with support from your senior Health Board/Trust management and Epilepsy12 Designated Lead/Tertiary lead.

    Return the application form to eqip@rcpch.ac.uk as soon as possible and no later than 17:00, Friday, 13 September 2019.

    We aim to inform all applicants of the outcome by 27 September 2019. 

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