Welcome to the
Advancing Quality Alliance

Aqua’s manifesto is to be the agency of action transforming care, inspiring quality and effecting change to make the next 10 years even more impactful than the last.

– CEO, Lesley Massey

We support health and care organisations to identify, refine and embed sustainable strategies for high-quality care and regulatory excellence.

We operate as a membership organisation within the NHS, providing quality improvement expertise, specialist learning and development, and consultancy.

We develop tailored, efficient solutions, informed by data and co-designed with service users to deliver maximum impact.

Get in touch

Our members benefit from access to expert advisors as well as a comprehensive programme of courses and events to help build internal capability and develop cutting-edge approaches to care quality.  They become part of an established UK-wide network, forged around long-term relationships, with organisations who hold the same values and are committed to the sharing of best practice and innovation to promote system-wide transformation of care.

We also work with organisations including NHS Trusts, CCGs, local authorities, care associations and housing providers, offering project-by-project consultancy and transformation services to non-members. Providing organisations with the skills, frameworks and expertise to deliver safe high-quality care in any setting.


Our People

Our workforce have a range of experience, from lived experience and front line clinical practice to board level, spanning sectors including acute & community trusts, mental health, primary care, local authority, military and academia.

Work With Us

Working at Aqua gives individuals the opportunity to be at the centre of improving quality in health and care. There are lots of ways to get involved, including working for us, becoming an affiliate or a lived experiences affiliate, as well as joining our fellowship programme.

Our Values

We are committed to the values and principles of the NHS and to helping members and customers to deliver the best health, wellbeing and quality of care for all. Our values shape who we are and how we work with colleagues, partners and customers.


We are deeply committed to excellence in all we do, through values-led and evidence-based approaches to your learning journey, growth and development. We work with our staff, members, customers & partners to set high standards, seek new & creative solutions & share expertise.


We show respect through valuing and recognising everyone’s input into our organisation and the relationships we build with our members and partners. We seek to ensure we reflect the world in which we live in and understand and value difference.


Our integrity can be seen not just in our words but our actions which are open, honest, challenging and purposeful.


We are collaborative through actively promoting and demonstrating an open minded, engaging and inclusive approach. We seek and build partnerships to improve the value of our work.

News and Insights

Aqua appoints new Chief Executive Officer

Following a recent interview process, we are pleased to announce that Sue Holden has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer for the Advancing Quality Alliance (Aqua). Sue, who is currently the National Director for Intensive Support at NHS England and NHS Improvement, will take up the post in June following the retirement of […]

18 Mar 2022
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International Women’s Day 2022: Q&A

  International Women’s Day offers us time to reflect on the incredible achievements of women across the world, as well as the chance to understand the steps we can continue to take on the journey to equality. With this in mind, we took the opportunity to speak to a couple of the inspiring women that […]

08 Mar 2022

North West Ambulance Service And Aqua Partner To Improve Hospital Handover At Emergency Departments

Aqua are pleased to be partnering with North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust (NWAS) to try and improve hospital handover in emergency departments (EDs) and patient flow. The national performance standard for ambulance handover at Emergency Departments (ED) is 15 minutes; it has been very difficult to achieve and sustain this in England due to […]

24 Feb 2022

Just Published: Personalised Care End of Year Report

Our Personalised Care End of Year Report has just been published, detailing the progress and reach of our Personalised Care offer throughout 2021.     This year our Personalised Care work has reached over 425 people, across 19 programmed member offers. We have been proud to deliver training to 109 people under PCI accreditation. The […]

21 Dec 2021

Just Published: AQ Insight Reports

We are publishing two new insight reports which show how a structured approach can help hospitals tackle health inequality and improve care and outcomes for patients. North West England includes eighteen of the twenty most deprived neighbourhoods in the country. People in deprived areas have lower life expectancy and poorer health. Deprivation and health: improving […]

09 Dec 2021

Starting a Social Value Journey – Donna McLaughlin

In this reflection we hear from Donna McLaughlin, Director of Social Value at the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (NCA) about her thinking as to why and how the NCA is embracing the ‘Anchor’ agenda by committing and acting to reduce poverty, support workforce challenges and transform individual lives. Aqua has being privileged enough to […]

05 Nov 2021

If you’d like to find out more, or have comments and enquiries please get in touch.

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