How can improvement-led delivery enhance the quality of outcomes for our patients, communities and our health and care workforce?
In April 2022, Amanda Pritchard requested a review of the way in which the NHS, working in partnership, delivers effectively on its current priorities while developing the culture and capability for continuous improvement. Led by Anne Eden, NHS Regional Director South East, with a steering group chaired by Sir David Sloman, Chief Operating Officer, NHS England, the review team co-developed 10 recommendations with health and care leaders that have been consolidated into three actions.
- Describe a single, shared NHS improvement approach. NHS England will set an expectation that all NHS providers, working in partnership with their integrated care boards, will embed a quality improvement method aligned with the improvement approach to support increased productivity and enable improved health outcomes. This will require a commitment from NHS England itself to work differently, in line with the improvement approach and the new Operating Framework.
- Co-design with our health and care partners a leadership for improvement programme, commissioned and supported by NHS England, enrolling all providers and systems (including primary care) in it to support a whole-system focus on improving healthcare outcomes with our workforce, patients and communities.
- Establish a national improvement board, to agree the small number of shared national priorities on which NHS England, with providers and systems, will focus our improvement-led delivery work, with national co-ordination and regional leadership. The new board will support more consistent, high-quality delivery of services to improve performance and reduce unwarranted variation.
- NHS England’s Executive Group will agree a small number of more consistently executed priority improvement initiatives, offering national co-ordination and regional leadership to support delivery.
- NHS England will consolidate capability and expertise into a national priority improvement function, whose role is to co-ordinate action on a small number of pan-national improvement priorities on a rolling basis.
- NHS England will test the model for the new priority improvement function through delivery of a winter collaborative. Action co-ordinated through the winter collaborative will be codified into more standardised approaches to delivery and improvement to support the spread and scale of learning.
- NHS England will set an expectation that all NHS providers, working in partnership with integrated care boards, will embed a quality improvement method aligned with the NHS improvement approach.
- NHS England will collaborate with partners to co-develop leadership development products that support health and care boards, executives and the wider workforce to embed the NHS improvement approach in their organisations and systems.
- NHS England will work with the CQC to align the revised CQC well-led with the improvement approach.
- NHS England will critically review the NHS oversight framework, to incentivise providers and systems to embed improvement-led delivery.
- NHS England's Support for Challenged Systems team will work with and through the regions to more consistently co-ordinate intensive support. This will include continued collaboration with other regulators and royal colleges to ensure consistent support and no duplication.
- Further develop peer support between providers and systems, including through enhanced support for provider collaboratives programmes and pre-existing provider peer support networks.
- NHS England will review the balance of national and regional resources between intensive support, pathway programmes and general capacity building. This will include an assessment of how national and regional teams more consistently support organisations in segment 3 and offer longer-term support to organisations exiting segment 4.
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