Collaborating with The Healthcare Improvement Studies (THIS) Institute

What is this project?

The goal of THIS Institute, which is funded by the Health Foundation, is to “create a world-leading scientific asset for the NHS about how to improve quality and safety in healthcare. We are guided by a highly participatory, collaborative ethos that combines academic rigour with the real concerns of the people who use and work in the NHS”. What is their approach? “Our work is underpinned by the principle that efforts to improve care should always be based on the highest quality evidence. So we’re boosting research activity to provide more clarity on what works, what doesn’t, and why. We work directly with NHS patients and staff, as well as academics and the public, to produce evidence about improvement that is both highly relevant and scientifically excellent. We use innovative methods of research such as citizen science to deliver large-scale research projects”. The Institute is co-ordinated from the University of Cambridge under the leadership of Professor Mary Dixon-Woods.

The McPin Foundation were invited into the collaboration as a partner and are a member of THIS Institute Public Involvement and Engagement advisory board, alongside Point of Care Foundation and National Voices. Over the next 10 years, we may be invited to contribute to different projects, drawing upon our expertise in the field of mental health research. Most recently, we were involved with THIS Institute to adapt a play which is being used to engage audiences in conversations about healthcare improvement. The original script and play was designed for the launch of THIS Institute, performed by Menagerie Theatre Company about stroke care. Working with a group of advisors with personal experience of anxiety and depression, we helped Menagerie adapt the play and extend the story to include two dimensions – stroke care and mental health support.


Why is this work important?

Making sure that research evidence actually leads to changes in practice is a very important element of the work we do at McPin. We hope that ourselves and others will learn from this partnership with THIS Institute, about how to implement best practice research evidence in order to improve NHS services and thus outcomes for people receiving health care support. Their programme is focused on all health areas and we will be particularly interested in mental health.


What is the role of McPin?

Our role is as a partner and member of THIS Institute Public Involvement and Engagement advisory board.


Who do we contact for more information?

You can contact THIS Institute directly or, if you want more information about McPin’s role, please email