The Orthopaedic Quality Improvement (incl. Clinical Audit) Network (OQICAN) was set up in November 2020 to enable specialist orthopaedic trusts and centres to be connected as a primary source of support and expertise in all aspects of quality improvement and clinical audit. It is led by and for the orthopaedic community in the UK because we recognise that the organisations under this specialty face similar challenges and undertake comparable quality improvement initiatives that could be shared with other orthopaedic centres.

The network formally launched in Summer 2021 and kicked off with a successful CPD accredited Information Governance for Quality Improvement workshop and a Learning Forum which showcased some of the quality improvement work going on at NOA member Trusts. We also host virtual Coffee Catch-ups.

More details, resources and updates are in the members area of the website.


The pandemic drastically changed the delivery of planned orthopaedic surgery. The NOA was eager to support its member organisations and the wider orthopaedic provider community during these extraordinary times and sought to develop and deliver a range of services.

As an alliance we supported the orthopaedics specialty during the pandemic through:

  • Our COVID-19 webinar series which focuses on a range of issues including recovery of elective orthopaedics and waiting lists management. We have collaborated with organisations including the British Orthopaedic Association, Getting It Right First Time, Versus Arthritis, ESCAPE Pain and more to ensure we address key issues.
  • COVID-19 resource pages on our website and members’ area.
  • NOA team members have provided support at their respective Trusts.
  • Curating  meetings to help address issues facing staff across our membership during these challenging times . Topics included workforce & wellbeing and waiting lists management.

More details, resources and updates are in the members area of the website.

Clinical Coding

Clinical coding issues raised by Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) resulted in the creation of a clinical coding project which looks at coding at a national level across all specialties. This work is producing best practice documentation and coding standards and the NOA is taking an active part in shaping the orthopaedics work undertaken by the project.

After an initial clinical coding workshop, an NOA Short Guide to Clinical Coding for Clinicians was published and distributed to all NOA member Trusts. The guide has been designed for clinicians to provide them with an insight into clinical coding best practice. It explains the basics and common pitfalls of coding in orthopaedics. We have also held CPD accredited clinical coding workshops and continue to work with the GIRFT team.

More details, resources and updates are in the members area of the website.

Cost Improvement Programmes

In November 2018 one of NOA’s founder member organisations, the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH), asked for help setting up an exercise to share ideas and learning around the identification of CIP schemes for 2019/20. The proposal generated a lot of interest across the NOA membership, and in March, 2019 the NOA held its first CIP sharing workshop.

The second CIP workshop, held in November 2019  included presentations from attendees highlighting CIP achievements, challenges and lessons learned as well as themed breakout focus groups. The workshop which was chaired by the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and timed to help Trusts prepare for business planning 20/21. Read more about the day here.

A third CIP workshop was held in December 2020 (read more here) and gave colleagues across the country a chance to reflect on delivering CIPs during a pandemic and discuss how to move forward with planning for the next year.

The latest CIP workshop took place in March 2022. You can read more about the session here.  

More details, resources and updates on NOA CIP activity are in the members area of the website.

Workforce and people

Recruitment, retention and organisational culture are issues the NOA works to support its members to share best practice and address challenges for the workforce and its’ people.

NOA wellbeing webinar series

The first in NOA’s wellbeing webinar series was held on 4 March 2021. It looked at some of the challenges and opportunities to improve staff wellbeing during the pandemic at NOA member trusts.  Find out more and view the recording in the members area of our website..

Wellbeing workshops

Using feedback from staff at member organisations, we developed a series of wellbeing workshops. The workshops covered:

  1. Self-Care for Tough Times
  2. Spotting & Preventing Burnout
  3.  Resilience – Recharge the Inner Battery

Read more about the sessions run for the NOA by Work Well Being in our events section.

More details, resources and updates are in the members’ area of the website.


The NOA met with the Collaborative Procurement Partnership (CPP) in January 2018 to contribute to the Category Tower 4 strategy and has since maintained close ties with CPP through their delivery of Total Orthopaedics Solution (TOS) and the preparation stages of TOS2 roll out.

The aim of the NOA Procurement Group is to share information, pool expertise and maintain a discourse with central procurement bodies to ensure best value for our members.

 The NOA is maintaining a dialogue with the Category Tower Director – Tower 4 to ensure we help shape and influence the future category strategy and have been instrumental in the setting up of a National Category Stakeholder Group for Orthopaedics.

More details, resources and updates are in the members area of the website.


In summer 2021, the NOA hosted a meeting to explore the creation of an NOA working group dedicated to Outcomes. .

In addition to an initial exploratory meeting, we have conducted an NOA Outcomes survey which sought to understand:

  • If NOA members support submission to all the national data sets
  • If NOA members are involved in regional data collections
  • How information is used within NOA member Trusts
  • Where support might be needed

More details, resources and updates are in the members area of the website.