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 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.
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 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 work for the public good, including the effective and efficient use of the public funds allocated to healthcare.
Provides strategic guidance on our vision, values and goals
Manages THIS Institute on a day-to-day basis
Counsels on ensuring our work is scientifically excellent
Ensures that we conduct robust and meaningful engagement
Led by the University of Cambridge and core-funded by the Health Foundation, THIS Institute’s activities are overseen by a steering committee, which includes experts from a range of backgrounds. Working with the executive team, the committee provides strategic advice and guidance on the Institute’s vision, values and goals and how they can best be met. It monitors progress toward achieving our mission and reports to the board of the Health Foundation and the council of the Clinical School in the University of Cambridge.
The external members of our steering committee are all unpaid volunteers who give their time and expertise to help us achieve our goal of strengthening the evidence base for improving healthcare.
Our executive committee is responsible for the day-to-day management of THIS Institute. Chaired by the Director, Professor Mary Dixon-Woods, it includes the Deputy Director, Director of Research, Senior Social Scientist and the Communications & Engagement Lead. It reports directly to the steering committee.
Composed of internationally renowned experts, our scientific advisory board counsels on how the scientific rigour, reach and relevance of THIS Institute’s research may best be secured and assured.
The external members of our scientific advisory board are all unpaid volunteers who give their time and expertise to help us achieve our goal of strengthening the evidence base for improving healthcare.
Our engagement and involvement advisory board provides advice and guidance on THIS Institute’s engagement and involvement strategy and goals. The board reports to THIS Institute’s steering committee. They will advise on the development of a code of conduct, support the development of an evidence base about how to do engagement and involvement well in healthcare improvement research, and advise on the best tools to support robust evaluation.
THIS Institute is made up of individuals dedicated to creating a world-leading scientific asset for the NHS.
Meet our colleagues
THIS Institute is made possible by the Health Foundation, an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and healthcare for people in the UK. Led by the University of Cambridge, globally renowned for its academic excellence and independence, our strength and influence extends right across the UK.
Through a network of partners THIS Institute is leading a coordinated approach that is tethered to staff and patient experience and draws on multidisciplinary expertise.
Our partners range from patient organisations to research groups.