Three national clinical leaders of the future were today announced as Health Foundation quality improvement fellows.

The award winners are:

  • Dr Joanne Watson, consultant physician in diabetes and endocrinology, Taunton and Somerset trust;

  • Dr Brian Robson, clinical director for e-health, NHS National Services Scotland;

  • Dr Carol Peden, consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care, Royal United Hospital Bath trust.

The fellowship develops senior clinicians to lead improvements in the quality of healthcare across the UK. The three fellows will spend a year based at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in the US and will study on the clinical effectiveness programme at the Harvard University School of Public Health.

Following their year in the US, previous fellows have led high-profile improvement projects in the UK. Annette Bartely has led a programme on transforming care at the bedside in Wales. Maxine Power will soon begin work on a Health Foundation-partnered collaborative to give the North West of England world class stroke care by 2010.

In the US, Dr Peden will focus on finding ways to reduce the currently unacceptably high levels of mortality in general surgical patients. Dr Robson will look at finding new ways of using technology to support reliability and evidence-based care in Scotland and Dr Watson will focus on developing a more patient-centred system of diabetes care.

Health Foundation director of clinical quality Martin Marshall said: "We are delighted to be supporting such talented professionals. Our previous quality improvement fellows are beginning to make great changes to the quality of care in the UK. We are confident that this year's fellows will also make great steps forward on their return to the UK."

The Health Foundation's quality improvement fellowships for 2009-10 will open for applications in July 2008.