Professor joins Innovation Agency to improve quality in the health service

A professor from the University of Chester has been appointed by the Innovation Agency to help deliver quality improvements across the North West Coast.

Sue Hooton OBE, who is Professor of Nursing and Quality Improvement, has recently started a secondment with the Innovation Agency. 

During the year-long secondment Sue will help co-ordinate the regional Q programme, funded by the Health Foundation, which is a national ambition to recruit 5,000 improvement fellows across the UK who will form a national network for mutual support and development. The network will include the full range of health professionals including doctors, nurses, midwives, therapists, patient representatives and administrative colleagues. Sue will also act as an innovation coach within the Improvement Agency. The project, which started earlier this year, has already recruited 1,000 members. 

Sue was selected by the University to join the Innovation Agency after the University’s Faculty of Health and Social Care was contacted by the Innovation Agency who wished to engage more closely with academia on this project. 

Sue, who is from Hoylake, Wirral, began her career as a Children’s Nurse before moving to senior posts in governance and patient safety in the NHS. In 2015, she was awarded a Florence Nightingale scholarship to Boston, Massachusetts, where she studied at the Institute of Healthcare Improvement. 

In her role in the Faculty of Health and Social Care at the University, her remit includes working with colleagues to consistently develop quality improvement skills and competencies; work with partners and colleagues within the institution to ensure programmes are for fit for purpose and carry out curriculum reviews in relation to innovation and quality improvements. 

Sue said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to make health improvements and innovations nationally and my work at the Innovation Agency will be shared with the University and brought back into the teaching experience.” 

Juliette Kumar, Associate Director of Improvement and Education at the Innovation Agency said: “We are really pleased to have secured this year long secondment from the University of Chester. Having Sue join us will ensure that we have greater academic rigour in the way in which we approach our improvement and innovation work. I am confident the Innovation Agency will benefit greatly from the arrangement, which in turn can only enrich our support offers to staff and users of the health and care system we serve.”


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