Improvement Science London

Improvement Science London

About ISL

Wide recognition of the gap between what we know and what we put into practice, increasing public expectations and scrutiny, tighter budgets and significant changes in the ways that services are configured, all combine to determine that we cannot carry on doing what we have always done and expect to deliver improvements at pace and at scale. We need to do things differently and the practical application of scientific knowledge has much to contribute.

Improvement Science London (ISL) was established in early 2012 by the London Academic Health Science partnerships of Imperial Academic Health Science Centre, King’s Health Partners and UCL Partners.

ISL aims to promote and embed the science of improvement and thereby encourage a more evidence-informed approach to improving the way that health services are organised and delivered for patients.

ISL was initially funded for a time-limited period, to function as a catalyst and facilitator to promote and embed the science of improvement across the founding partners. We are now moving to the next phase of our development; using IS to deliver real change for people on the ground

Recent blog posts

The general practice rescue package: celebrate, briefly, and then the work of implementation begins

Fri, 22 Apr 2016 09:12:25 +0000

                    Professor Martin Marshall Lead, Improvement Science London. The 21st of April 2016 will go down as a good day for general practice, perhaps one of the best in recent decades. A few tweets ago I said that the announcement had to be sufficiently substantial and […]

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A discourse of lament and a discourse of joy

Fri, 01 Apr 2016 13:26:31 +0000

                    Professor Martin Marshall Lead, Improvement Science London I recently had a chat with a health manager from New Zealand who was in London for a three month sabbatical. He told me that prior to his arrival he had read about how unhappy doctors are in […]

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Confused about general practice?

Fri, 12 Feb 2016 13:29:24 +0000

                    Professor Martin Marshall Lead, Improvement Science London. When I first became a GP, general practice was organised in a way that was so easy to describe to people. We had practices serving defined local communities and we had Family Practitioner Committees (FPCs) which provided a […]

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NHS integration: can accountable care organisations deliver a truly GP-led NHS

Thu, 07 Jan 2016 10:38:37 +0000

                    Professor Martin Marshall Lead, Improvement Science London. General practice must engage with Accountable Care Organisations Sometimes it makes a lot of sense for GPs to keep their heads down when ‘new’ ideas are trumpeted by government. It is good to remind ourselves of Rudolph Klein’s […]

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Making time for improvement

Tue, 22 Dec 2015 13:22:46 +0000

            Professor Martin Marshall Lead, Improvement Science London   The habits of improvers Paul Batalden, a much respected quality guru, once described how people who deliver health care have two roles – to do the day job and to improve how they do the day job. This is a neat […]

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NHS integration: Can accountable care organisations deliver a truly GP-led NHS?

Tue, 15 Dec 2015 15:34:16 +0000

Professor Martin Marshall Lead, Improvement Science London                   Sometimes it makes a lot of sense for GPs to keep their heads down when ‘new’ ideas are trumpeted by government. It is good to remind ourselves of Rudolph Klein’s sage aphorism: ‘innovation is a function of amnesia’. Too […]

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Evaluation: rigour, relevance and naivety

Thu, 25 Jun 2015 13:01:50 +0000

Martin Marshall, Professor of Healthcare Improvement; Laura Eyre, Research Fellow, UCL         The Nuffield Trust, like many similar organisations, is inundated with requests from people working in the NHS who want help to evaluate improvement initiatives; a subject already touched upon in a recent blog by the Nuffield Trust’s Alisha Davies. These […]

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The 10 minute consultation; the unacceptable face of general practice

Wed, 06 May 2015 16:55:14 +0000

Professor Martin Marshall Lead, Improvement Science London ‘Perfunctory work by perfunctory men’. That’s how an eminent physician once described general practice. ‘A ridiculous claim’ cried GPs, rising to the defence of their discipline, ‘specialists just don’t understand the nature of general practice. They don’t value our ability to make quick decisions based on a deep […]

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Monkey Business

Wed, 26 Nov 2014 16:51:37 +0000

Professor Martin Marshall Lead, Improvement Science London I recently listened to a fascinating presentation at the annual conference of the Dutch Royal College of General Practitioners. The speaker was the curator of Amsterdam Zoo and an expert in chimpanzee behaviour. She’s spent most of her career observing troops of chimps and has become fascinated by […]

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Why the NHS needs General Practice

Tue, 27 May 2014 16:46:02 +0000

Professor Martin Marshall Lead, Improvement Science London At times of crisis it’s easy to hunker down, to become inward looking. But if general practice responds defensively to the major challenges of increasing workload, reducing funding and ill-informed criticisms by the media and politicians, then matters will get worse. It is time to go on the […]

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