Advancing Quality NHS Advancing Quality Alliance

Evaluation into Advancing Quality under the spotlight at research conference

Research into the impact of AQuA’s Advancing Quality programme took centre stage at the sixth Health Services Research Network (HSRN) annual symposium.

The HSRN symposium brings together researchers, practitioners, senior managers and policy makers to learn more about the latest research results and methods on a number of themes, including informatics; patient safety; and using evidence.

AQuA Chief Executive, David Fillingham, joined Professor Matt Sutton from the University of Manchester to give the keynote plenary on landmark evidence discussing the results of the independent evaluation which estimated hundreds of lives had been saved since the introduction of Advancing Quality (AQ).

Advancing Quality, AQuA’s flagship programme, is ‘live’ in every NHS acute and mental health trust across the North West and is based on achieving a set of quality standards which define and measure good clinical practice in a number of common clinical conditions for the region.

Professor Sutton and a team of researchers led by the Universities of Nottingham and Manchester investigated figures for in-hospital deaths within 30 days of admission for patients with pneumonia, AMI and heart failure 18 months before and after the introduction of AQ. They concluded that avoidable mortality rates fell by 6% in the North West, the equivalent of 890 deaths, and the results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine (ref: N Engl J Med 2012; 367:1821-8).

David said:

“I was delighted to be asked to give the keynote plenary at the HSRN symposium on Advancing Quality. The evaluation into AQ led by Professor Sutton and colleagues has gained national and international recognition for the programme and helped us to cement its reputation as an improvement initiative which is making a real impact across the North West so, to be able to give AQuA’s perspective on this, was a fantastic opportunity.”

For more details on the HSRN, go to

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