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Securing quality as our guiding principle

  • Last modified date:
    26 April 2011

The National Quality Board (NQB) has published its first report of a two-phase review into the importance of maintaining and improving quality during the modernisation of the NHS and beyond.

'Maintaining and improving quality during the transition: safety, effectiveness, experience' focuses on the first full year of transition, 2011/12. It describes the key roles and responsibilities of organisations and people who will protect and improve quality. It also suggests practical steps to safeguard quality during the transition and emphasises the importance of an effective handover of knowledge and intelligence on quality between old and new organisations.

The report highlights how quality must remain the guiding principle as organisations move to implement modernisation plans and makes it clear that healthcare professionals are ultimately responsible for the quality of care provided to patients.

Later this year, the NQB will publish a second report with advice on how quality should be stitched into the fabric of the new system to maximise the potential for delivering high quality services for patients.

Alongside 'Maintaining and improving quality during the transition', the NQB has published 'Quality Governance in the NHS – A guide for provider boards'. This is a non-prescriptive tool that provider boards can use to support organisations in ensuring resilience for quality.

Meanwhile, in the report, the NQB restates how healthcare frontline professionals are ultimately responsible for ensuring patients receive high quality care and that it is their professional duty to speak up if they have concerns. It also reinforces the message that quality must be at the heart of the NHS’s overall system of assurance and support.

The foreword says: ‘The vision set out in the Government’s White Paper requires a significant de-layering of management across the system.

‘As this is implemented, we must remember that the knowledge and corporate memory of an organisation’s employees is a rich resource that needs to be preserved in order to maintain the continuity of services and, more importantly, improve the quality of care provided to patients.’

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