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West of England Academy

The West of England Academy provides a range of free resources to help you gain knowledge and develop essential skills for innovative thinking and working. We promote the use of quality improvement methodologies to support delivery of better patient care.

Why support innovation?

Innovation is the new front in improving healthcare. Simply put, innovation is ‘the application of ideas or technologies to achieve change.’

AHSNs have been described as ‘the innovation arm of the NHS’. Within the West of England AHSN we are building on our successful work in spreading the use of Quality Improvement (QI) methodologies by refreshing and broadening the scope of our Academy to support the use of innovation tools and techniques.

Who is the Academy for?

The Academy is for all health and care professionals, front line, support services and commissioners, plus innovators living, working or planning to work in the West of England. This covers the full innovation journey, from gaining a greater understanding of specific opportunities, developing creative ideas, prototyping and testing of solutions through to gathering evidence to support implementation and spread of solutions and evaluation of the benefits.

The Academy is available for people who already have a project in mind as well as those simply wishing to develop their skills and knowledge.

We know that working in this way and space is new for many clinicians, but this programme is designed to help you think in a more creative way in order to improve local services.

What’s on offer

We run free learning events across the West of England including an online programme. We also offer online resources and toolkits available for download, and bespoke support for those needing specialist advice on our services. Follow the links below for more information. All our resources, events and services are free.

If you want guidance on the use of these resources or have suggestions, questions or want to discuss your project, please email

Sharing our experience of virtual learning

During summer 2020, our Academy team hosted a series of successful virtual quality improvement workshops. As we could no longer hold face to face events, the series was planned to encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing through virtual learning. To share our experience and insight from the planning and implementation of hosting virtual learning, we held a Q&A with the series facilitators and created a slide deck with their top tips.

Explore the Academy