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Quality accounts

High Quality Care for All (June 2008) set the vision for Quality to be at the heart of everything the NHS does, and defined quality as centred around three domains: patient safety, clinical effectiveness and patient experience.

High Quality Care for All proposed that all providers of NHS healthcare services should produce a Quality Account: an annual report to the public about the quality of services delivered. The Health Act 2009 places this requirement onto a statutory footing.

Quality Accounts aim to enhance accountability to the public and engage the leaders of an organisation in their quality improvement agenda.

The details surrounding the form and content of Quality Accounts have been designed over a year long period in partnership between the Department of Health, Monitor, the Care Quality Commission and NHS East of England. This has involved a wide range of people from the NHS, patient organisations and the public, representatives of professional organisations and of the independent and voluntary sector. A consultation ran between September and December 2009 and the responses shaped the framework for the regulations and guidance in 2010.

From April 2010, all providers of acute, mental health, learning disability and ambulance services will be required to produce a Quality Account. Further work is underway to develop Quality Accounts for primary care and community services providers with the aim to bring these providers into the requirement by June 2011 subject to a testing and evaluation exercise.

Additional links

Quality Accounts Toolkit

This toolkit is for NHS providers to assist with the production and publication of their Quality Accounts in 2010. It features best practice guidance and useful tools based on the findings from the Quality Reporting process in 2009 and discussions with stakeholders. It is an interactive document, designed to be used online.

Response to Quality Accounts Consultation

The framework for Quality Accounts, a consultation on the proposals ran from 17th September to 10th December 2009. This document provides the Department of Health’s official response to the consultation and informs the regulation and DH toolkit for 2009/10 Quality Accounts.

Secondary legislation (opens new window)

The regulations for Quality Accounts were laid before parliament in February 2010 and are due to come into force on 1st April 2010. You can access these on the Office of Public Sector Information website by searching for Statutory Instrument 2010 No.279

High Quality Care For All

Lord Darzi’s Next Stage Final Review outlines the strategic vision for an NHS with quality at its heart.

Visions for better healthcare

The nine Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) visions for better healthcare that formed the basis of Lord Darzi’s Next Stage Final Review.

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