Fundamentally, healthcare organizations and systems are patterns of energy, webs of human relationships, conversations and decisions .Imagine the healthcare system to be a multi-storey building. We have stairs, halls, ladders and balconies. We call them networks, institutes, agencies, confederations. The spaces are not just the lines and boxes on the official organization chart, static images that imply rigid turf boundaries, but the “white space” between and beyond…… the network opportunity!

High-performing organizations and systems harness this “white space” creating dynamic and fluid networks – highly attuned and harmonious with their internal and external environment that encourage expression of the intellect, passion, commitment and experience needed to make real changes that satisfy healthcare consumer needs and expectations.

The Sustainable Improvement Teams–as part of NHS England business plan priorities are, working to embed improvement across the health and care system supporting the development of networks in the health and care system. This is based on the evidence that networks are a key vehicle to accelerate the spread and adoption of quality improvement and transformational change.

To support Network leader’s, members and enthusiasts to strengthen their networks performance and potential , the Network Toolkit has been developed in partnership with the Centre for Innovation in Health Management at the University of Leeds.

The Network Toolkit provides an online learning resource to help network leaders and users manage their networks effectively, providing the building blocks and ‘know how’ in the system for networks to strengthen and sustain their own development, performance and impact.

The Network Toolkit is open access; there are no paywalls, passwords or fees. There are lots of
ways you, as either members of networks, leaders of networks, and those who are looking at establishing networks, can access resources and ‘network’ on this site:

Networks – Find all the current intelligence about networks, what they are, what they are good for, what makes them work or fail, some top tips for starting networks; as well as intelligence on key features and functions of effective networks.

Diagnostics – Have a go at the network diagnostics and explore how to develop a successful and sustainable network. The diagnostics require both surveys and discussions and at the end you generate an action plan for your network. This is a great way of getting feedback into your network and generating energy for change together. This toolkit works best if you revisit the diagnostics as your network develops to see how you are improving. If you are setting up a network or your network is new, have a look at all the diagnostics even if you can’t do them yet as they will help you design your network.

Toolkit – Generate a practical toolkit specific to your network which includes a report to share with your network member and a ‘Requests and Offers’ forum for you to share with and learn from other networks.

Profile – Create a profile of your network so others can know more about what you do.

Map – Place yourself of the networks map so other networks can find you.

Resources – Access the latest literature, policy papers, and our own synthesis of short and snappy updates.

Discussion Forum – Post questions for other networks and expert facilitators to help with.