Intended for healthcare professionals

Feature Quality of Healthcare

Is THIS the way to better improvement?

BMJ 2018; 360 doi: (Published 26 January 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;360:k287
  1. Anne Gulland, freelance journalist, London, UK
  1. annecgulland{at}

A new UK institute dedicated to researching quality improvement will focus on “unglamorous” problems, says its director, Mary Dixon-Woods. Anne Gulland spoke to her

Keeping patients united with their false teeth and glasses while on their journey through hospital may not seem the most pressing problem facing the NHS at the moment, but it’s the kind of conundrum that The Healthcare Improvement Studies (THIS) Institute, which launches on 31 January, would love to get its teeth into.

Mary Dixon-Woods, professor of health services research at Cambridge University and the institute’s founding director, says the focus will be “on unglamorous problems that people haven’t thought about as interesting research questions but we think are absolutely fascinating.”

THIS Institute aims to strengthen the evidence base for improving healthcare. It will be funded for its first decade by the think tank the Health Foundation, with a budget of £40m (€45m; $56m) over that period. It will employ 40 academic and administrative staff. The Health Foundation wanted to bring its work on improvement research into a single entity, which will also …

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