Welcome to The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute


Watch our video to get to know the institute in under a minute.

Our manifesto

Everyone wants safe and high-quality healthcare, and health systems worldwide undertake improvement initiatives to achieve these priorities. Yet improvement projects are too often supported by weak evidence.

To date, efforts to develop the evidence base needed to support healthcare improvement have been hindered by challenges including a lack of scientific credibility, an overemphasis on small-scale quality improvement work and a limited infrastructure for participatory research.

Our goal is to create a world-leading scientific asset for the NHS about how to improve quality and safety in healthcare. We are guided by a highly participatory, collaborative ethos that combines academic rigour with the real concerns of the people who use and work in the NHS.

Our approach

Our work is underpinned by the principle that efforts to improve care should always be based on the highest quality evidence. So we’re boosting research activity to provide more clarity on what works, what doesn’t, and why.

We work directly with NHS patients and staff, as well as academics and the public, to produce evidence about improvement that is both highly relevant and scientifically excellent. We use innovative methods of research such as citizen science to deliver large-scale research projects.

Our projects study interventions and techniques aimed at improving quality and safety in healthcare, and are mindful of challenges to standardisation, harmonisation, replication and scaling.

Our commitment

Scientific excellence

We draw on established scientific traditions and develop systematic studies using high quality methods and theories.


We work in partnership in good faith, with trust sustained by genuinely cooperative behaviour.


We work for the public good, including the effective and efficient use of the public funds allocated to healthcare.


We are committed to studying what’s important to NHS patients and staff.


Based at the University of Cambridge and funded by the Health Foundation, we enjoy full scientific independence.


We are respectful in all our interactions with everyone we come into contact with.