About QSO

The Quality Safety and Outcomes Policy Research Unit (QSO PRU) is a collaboration between the Universities of Kent and Oxford, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the Picker Institute and Hull-York Medical School.

It is funded by the NIHR from 1 January 2019 for five years.

The purpose of QSO PRU is to produce robust, relevant and usable research to improve the quality and outcomes of the health and social care system.

We consider quality to encompass three key domains:

  • Safety: people are protected from avoidable harm in (the implementation of) their care and treatment, and when mistakes occur, lessons are learned.
  • Effectiveness: people’s planned care and treatment should be effective and promote a good quality of life.
  • Positive experience: in the process of providing services and support, staff and providers should be caring, responsive and person centred.

The underlying premise of our work is that improvements in the way we use health and care resources (inputs) will lead to improved outcomes for people using those services, and for staff engaged in providing health and care. Quality is a measure of how well our use of resources translates into outcomes.

We aim to produce research that:

  • covers the spectrum of monitoring and learning from the past to future-preparedness
  • considers quality at the level of the intervention/organisation and also at a system and societal level
  • uses a multi-disciplinary perspective
  • can be used to directly inform policy and practice, and includes consideration of any issues regarding the implementation of those policies.

The PRU’s work will be framed by five interrelated themes.

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