Quality improvement initiatives often make gains that are not sustained beyond the lifetime of the initial efforts – ‘improvement evaporation.’ A growing body of knowledge has helped to identify some key factors, which if taken into consideration from the start, will increase the likelihood of success and sustained improvements.

Given the current climate, where financial constraints are pushing organisations to make the best use of their resources, having a better understanding of the factors affecting sustainability has become of strategic importance.

Tools and resources

There are a number of tools and resources available:

NHS sustainability model

Practical evidence based tool for teams to use throughout improvement. Download as a PDF here.

Summary of resources and research

A guide has been developed by Healthcare Improvement Scotland to summarise the existing resources and key pieces of research around spread and sustainability.

The aims of this guide are:

  • to increase the understanding of the key issues around spread and sustainability;
  • to signpost readers to existing valuable resources on these topics;
  • to assist quality improvement practitioners in the process of planning for spread and sustainability of improvement and its implementation and;
  • to advise supporting organisations on initiatives that could facilitate spread and sustainability of improvements at a national level.

Find out more here.