Towards a million change agents – a review of social movements literature: implications for large scale change in the NHS

The authors’ readings of the social movements literature point towards six groups of factors which, to varying degrees, answer these three core questions as to why people are ‘moved’ or mobilised into collective action and how such mobilisation is spread and sustained.

Towards_a_million[1] – key points for healthcare improvement leaders:

  • An NHS improvement movement is more likely to succeed if it’s stated aims and values are widely shared and supported by society as a whole.
  • Pre-existing networks of people within the NHS have a key role to play in mobilising sufficient staff to join a movement.
  • Individuals are much more likely to engage in improvement activities if their colleagues, friends and peers are already doing so.
  • Finding those at the centre of these networks who are committed to improvement in the NHS is a critical first step in developing the self-sustaining communities of practice that can provide mass and energy to improvement activities.