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HEIW Improvement Prize 2023 / 24

The Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) Quality Improvement Skills Training (QIST) Improvement Prize 2023/24 is now open for applications.

The prize aims to spotlight excellence in completion of improvement in practice projects, and the impact they've had on patient safety, wellbeing and environmental sustainability. An integral part of undertaking an improvement in practice project is that they effect positive change in the individual’s area of practice and can demonstrate sustainable impact on patient/client care.

If you’ve completed a project, we are offering support and funding for publication in BMJ Open Quality or BDJ Open.

If you have completed / are in the process of completing a quality improvement project that relates to the NHS in Wales, you are eligible to enter and we encourage you to submit your completed project for consideration by our panel.

Submissions should be made using the template, either in poster or report format, and following the SQUIRE guidelines.

The winning entrant will receive support from the HEIW QIST Team to complete the submission to the relevant publication, and associated fees should the submission be published.

The closing date is 10th May 2024.

Please contact the QIST Team if you'd like any further information on

Our website will give you information about the quality improvement skills training courses we run: Quality Improvement Skills Training (QIST) - HEIW (

Comments from the 2022 winner Dr Joy McFadzean:

“I was surprised but very proud to win the HEIW Improvement Prize, acknowledging the hard work of many other projects within the Improvements in Practice course. I was grateful for support to convert my report into a formal research manuscript, as well as the financial support to have it published.

It took several edits over six months and with support from one of my mentors, Dr Goodfellow, and colleagues, we published our work, highlighting quality improvement (QI) tools such as the 'Model for Improvement' and 'Plan Do Study Act Cycles', within the BMJ Open Quality Journal in June 2023.”

(McFadzean IJ, Francis R, Fischetti C, et al Direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC) monitoring within primary care: a quality improvement project BMJ Open Quality 2023;12:e002216. doi: 10.1136/bmjoq-2022-002216).

“It is important to share our learning from QI - in the form of journals, conferences, and discussions with colleagues and QIST has helped my confidence with this.

The Improvement in Practice course Silver inspired me to continue my QI journey and I now teach QI to medical students and GP trainees, as a GP Lecturer at Cardiff University. Keen to continue this learning, I am also currently completing a QI Leadership programme with HEIW support (Scottish Care Improvement Leadership - ScIL course), focusing on a project reviewing feedback in primary care.”

Comments from Dr Sue Goodfellow, QIST Tutor:

“I was asked to support Joy prepare her winning Quality Improvement Project for publication in BMJ Open Quality. The journal has a 61% acceptance rate for submissions, so there was no automatic guarantee of success.

BMJ Open Quality adheres to a rigorous and transparent peer review process and all papers are considered on the basis of ethical and methodological soundness rather than their novelty, significance, or relevance to any particular audience.”

Submission to BMJ Open Quality must be done using the SQUIRE 2.0 guidelines (Ref 1), so the first task was to amend the presentation made by Joy & colleagues for the HEIW prize to fit the SQUIRE template. Several other edits were subsequently made, including a retrospective review of the data presentation.

The BMJ peer review process was useful, as it gave varied perspectives from several expert reviewers with no prior knowledge of this Quality Improvement Project.

Confirmation of acceptance by BMJ Open Quality was duly received and the article was published very soon afterwards.

My reflections on this: it was a helpful experience for me too; and whilst there are many ways to present a Quality Improvement Project, if the SQUIRE guidelines are a ‘gold standard,’ we might usefully compare our QIST QIP Project submission template with the SQUIRE template and consider any amendments.”

Ref. 1

Ogrinc G, Davies L, Goodman D, et al SQUIRE 2.0.

 (Standards for Quality Improvement Reporting Excellence): revised publication guidelines from a detailed consensus process. BMJ Quality & Safety 2016;25:986-992.