Communities of Practice

Supporting and nurturing Communities of Practice (CoP) to share learning and bring about change for the better.

Project overview

Communities of Practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do, who come together to voluntarily explore how to bring about change for the better. They do this by focussing on patient areas affecting our member organisations. The work of these self-selecting communities will have a real impact on patient experience and outcomes.

Health Innovation Network hosts a variety of dynamic Patient Safety-focussed Communities of Practice (CoP). Our vision is to drive such improvements across south London and to spread the innovation, ideas and best practices arising from our CoPs on a national or even international scale for maximum impact. To find out more about Communities of Practice, download our brochure.

“On a wider scale our Community of Practice has helped to enhance the patient voice as it has enabled us to discuss ideas, issues and priorities that would be difficult to find the space for in any other setting.”Jannike Nordlund, Patient and Public Involvement Lead, South East London Cancer Alliance CoP evaluation report
Multiple CoP have been introduced across south London supported by the Health Innovation Network because integration and innovation, underpinned by effective knowledge transfer are seen as critical to improve services. CoP’s are an example of a tool to manage knowledge transfer.  However, little is known about the value that is produced from them. Download the report to lread about our results so far.
In January 2019, SELCA commissioned the Health Innovation Network (HIN) to work with them to design and deliver four CoPs across the South East London Network. Over a 12-month period it was agreed that the HIN would support the development and delivery of three convenings for each community. This was preceded by an initial design group to decide on the focus of each community (domain), ensuring that these decisions were influenced by professionals across the three South East London (SEL) trusts (Guy’s and St Thomas’, Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, King’s College Hospital), the focus (domains) of the four CoP’s were confirmed as Patient Involvement, Rehabilitation and Personalised Care, Ultrasound Imaging, Operational Teams. Download the report, to learn more.
By creating opportunities for people to connect, collaborate, support each other and develop both themselves and others, The CoP Leadership Development Programme aims to support and sustain improvement health services. The programme is CPD accredited and is aligned with the Health Foundation’s Q Network change model. Download the report to learn more.
Bringing together colleagues from across diabetes and maternity services, the Diabetes in Pregnancy CoP is a self- governing collaborative network designed to improve care and services for women and babies affected by diabetes in pregnancy. Explore more on this project.

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Key achievements

South East London Cancer Alliance CoPs

  • Across the four CoPs we’ve had over 250 participants representing varied organisations, roles and patient demographics to support collaborative work.

Diabetes in Pregnancy CoP

  • Four out of seven trusts in south London have adopted GDm-Health to support the remote management of gestational diabetes The remaining three trusts in progress.
  • Further information can be found here.

CoP leadership

  • 23 participants completed the course, whom gave a wide range of positive feedback. As a result we have been commissioned to deliver the course again in 2021.


By Simon Ellery