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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 16/03/2022 12:06:07

Title of Module: Quality Improvement in Healthcare

Code: NURS11049 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Health and Life Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Stuart  Telfer

Summary of Module

It can be demonstrated that health care practice does not always lead to the safe high-level outcomes which it strives to deliver (Francis, 2013; Berwick, 2013; Kirkup, 2015). However, this has arguably been made worse by global financial crisis (McMurray, 2010; Lavery, 2016)). There has therefore been a substantial growth prioritisation and development of quality improvment (QI) in health care globally (Mazur, McCreery & Rothberg, 2012).

It has been highlighted that the National Health Service (NHS) in Scotland is now a world leader in patient safety and QI (Jeffcott, 2014), based around the developments associated with the Health Care Quality Strategy (Scottish Government, 2010) and the 2020 Vision (Scottish Government, 2013)

However, Locock (2003) raises concerns that practitioners may see that the improvement methodologies as a panacea to become disillusioned when the claimed dramatic results are not as expected.  This module aims to develop therefore, practitioners’ knowledge and understanding relating to the variety of models of quality improvement, the tools and techniques used, thus enabling them to use a variety of different approaches to realise the potential of the improvements being undertaken. The above skills acquisition, contributes to the development of the UWS Graduate AttributesUniversal - critical thinking, analytical, inquiring, culturally aware, emotionally intelligent, ethically-minded, culturally aware, collaborative, research-minded and socially responsible; Work-Ready -knowledgeable, digitally literate, effective communicator, motivated, potential leader;  and Successful -autonomous, incisive, creative, resilient and daring.



Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:




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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Critically appraise improvement methodologies, their development, implementation and implications within healthcare settings.

L2. Review and evaluate differing approached to continuous quality improvement and their relevance and applicability within a healthcare setting.

L3. Systematically appraise evaluation strategies, examining impact and effectiveness within the healthcare setting.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 11.

Demonstrate and or work with a critical understanding of the principal theories, principles and concepts.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

Demonstrate the use of a significant range of the principal skills, techniques and practices relating to improvement methodologies.

Demonstrate originality and creativity in the application of knowledge, understanding and / or practices.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

Critically analyse, evaluate and synthesise issues which are at the forefront or informed by developments relating to quality improvement methods.

Identify, conceptualise and define new and abstract problems and issues.

Develop original and creative responses to problems and issues.

Critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills practices and thinking in relation to continuous quality improvement.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

Undertake critical evaluations using a wide range of numerical and graphical data.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

Demonstrate leadership and or initiatives and make an identifiable contribution to change and development.

Practice in ways which draw on critical reflection on own and others roles and responsibilities.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching

Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

All students will be expected to work through all aspects of the module using the Moodle system. They will be expected to engage fully in the planned discussions and activities with other students from their cohort.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Personal Development Plan4
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity20
Lecture/Core Content Delivery16
Independent Study152
Asynchronous Class Activity8
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

There are no core texts for this module: all are considered recommended reading:

McLaughlin C.P, Johnson J.K, Solleciko W.A. (2011) Implementing Continious Quality Improvement in Healthcare: A Global Casebook. London: Jones & Bartlett

Powell A, Rushmer R, Davis H. (2009) A systematic narrative review of quality improvement models in healthcare. Edinburgh: NHS Quality Improvement Scotland.

Scottish Government Health Department (2008) Leading Better Care. Edinburgh.

Sherwood G and Barnsteiner, J. (2012) Quality and Safety in Nursing: A competency Approach To Improving Outcomes. Oxford:Wiley-Blackwell.

Gillan, S and Siriwardena, A.N (2014) Quality Improvement in Primary Care. Oxford: Radcliffe

Baillie, L., Maxwell, E. (2017) Improving Healthcare; A Handbook for Practitioners: Routledge

International Journal for Quality in Healthcare

Journal for Healthcare Quality

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardMidwifery & Specialist Nursing
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelMidwifery&Specialist Nursing L9-11
ModeratorAngela Bonar
External ExaminerM Lees
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Summative Part 1: A modified literature review around quality improvement in healthcare (70%)
Summative Part 2: Presentation of a poster outlining a systematic critique of a chosen to a quality improvement method (30%)
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essaycheck markcheck mark 700

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Presentation  check mark300
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
The School of Health and Life Sciences believes that education and practitioner diversity are central to achieving quality of care.

Within this module, quality of care, inclusiveness and employability are achieved by:

• Provision of a welcoming and supportive culture that promotes accessibility and equal opportunities to students and prospective students

• Promotion of confidence and knowledge of their rights as a student and employee

• Promotion of respect and knowledge of client diversity, their needs, rights and associated practitioner responsibilities

The above aims are supported by staff belief in fairness and equal opportunities and thus guide the content, teaching and learning, assessment and evaluation.

Anticipatory’ and ‘reasonable’ adjustments are grounded in ‘competence standards’ – specifically, the core requirements for progression / achievement in placement / module. Anticipatory adjustments have been made and ‘reasonable adjustments’ can be made available in teaching and learning strategies to promote accessibility of the module. For students who have disclosed a disability, the UWS Disability Service (DS) will assess the individual’s strengths and support needs and then forward a Student Support Form to the appropriate DS Co-ordinator who will circulate the form to all of the relevant teaching staff. ‘Reasonable adjustments’ may include adapted or specialised clinical equipment (e.g. electronic stethoscope, coloured overlays) or further specialist assessment or support (e.g. assessment by an Educational Psychologist, extended time for presentations or assessments). If funding is required, this can be organised by the DS and funded by the School. Reasonable adjustments, in line with DS recommendations for the assessment of the individual student can be assured.

Processes and procedures have been subject to Equality Impact Screening and where appropriate Equality Impact Assessment. Evaluation by all key stakeholders throughout the life of the module is also central to meeting our commitments.
Students should approach the Disability Service as early as possible to discuss support. Details of the service can be found at:

(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.