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

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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


Rethinking Primary Care

Mon, 11 Nov 2013 16:43:20 +0000

Professor Martin Marshall Lead, Improvement Science London Most people are inclined to what we might call a ‘provider bias’ when asked to describe how health care is organised and delivered. Familiar structures are embedded in our psyche – primary care, where generalist first-contact services are provided close to people’s homes; secondary care, where a wide […]


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