‘But why is that better?’ An investigation of what applied philosophy and ethics can bring to quality improvement work in healthcare


  • Prof Alan Cribb

    King's College London

  • Prof Vikki Entwistle

    National University of Singapore

Project summary

Quality improvement (QI) aims to tackle the shortcomings of health services, but QI initiatives do not always work and sometimes create new problems. One of the reasons for these failures is that people do not agree about what counts as good quality, and quality is often interpreted in ways that fail to capture the aspects of healthcare that matter to people.

We will work with QI partners from diverse healthcare settings to address debates about quality and to understand how the potential harms and ethical challenges produced by QI can be better managed. We will pioneer a partnership approach to building applied philosophy into QI. We will address these goals by integrating our applied philosophical scholarship with literature-based work, fieldwork, workshops with QI partners, as well as methodological reflection.

This project seeks to strengthen QI in healthcare.