Improving Tracheostomy Care (ITC) was a 3 year project, funded by the Health Foundation and supported by the Royal College of Anaesthetists. The project ran from 2016-19 with the goal of implementing the best practice resources of the Global Tracheostomy Collaborative (GTC) into the complex systems of the UK National Health Service (NHS). 

Click here for a link to an infographic showing the headline results. Several academic papers have been published that show the impact that the program had; testament to the collaboration between staff and patients and their families, and the hard work of all those involved. See the ITC publications pages. Key elements of the program were used as the basis for the National Patient Safety Improvement Program (NatPatSIP) in NHS England, with NHS Wales rolling out a similar program during 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly increased the numbers of patients requiring new tracheostomies. Whilst front line hospital staff have been under significant pressure, implementing these resources at scale provided an opportunity to ensure we deliver the safest possible care and work towards delivering the highest quality of care we can for our patients. Click here for the Covid-19 information and for the NatPatSIP pages.

The ITC project builds on a successful pilot project which saw four NHS Hospitals in the North of England join the GTC and implement its resources and initiatives into these diverse hospitals. The sites used the GTC database to track patient-level metrics and were able to demonstrate meaningful improvements in the safety and quality of care provided. These improvements occurred rapidly over a 12-month period. The results are described in detail in this paper: McGrath et al, BMJ Quality Improvement Reports, Evaluating the quality improvement impact of the Global Tracheostomy Collaborative in four diverse NHS hospitals. 

This section of the NTSP website will detail the progress of this project and link key resources that arise as a result of this collaboration. Sites have given permission to share the resources in this section freely. Please feel free use them but we would be grateful if you could acknowledge the authors and their institutions in your work.

ITC is also exploring the ethnographic factors behind implementing these quality improvements by interviewing and questioning frontline NHS staff, managers, leaders and importantly, patients and their families. We aim to build a profile of what interventions work best as which type of sites, services and structures, so we can make recommendations to maximise the impact of tracheostomy quality improvement initiatives in the future. Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed this further analysis, we will continue to update these pages with new resources, publications and outputs from the project.

You can contact the ITC team by emailing