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First indicators of quality improvement released to the NHS

Embargoed until 15 May 2009

A list of more than 200 indicators of high quality care in the NHS is being released to assist clinical teams to measure the quality of care they deliver, highlight areas for improvement and track the changes they implement.

The release of the first Indicators for Quality Improvement marks the start of a process that will develop useful and meaningful indicators across all aspects of health care and in all care settings. The indicators span the three dimensions of high quality care: patient safety, effectiveness of care and patient experience.

The Indicators for Quality Improvement are a key outcome from High Quality Care for All. Its author Lord Darzi noted that high performing teams already measure the quality of care they deliver and benchmark their work against their peers. His vision is to make this possible across the NHS.

Lord Darzi said:
“These quality indicators have been developed in partnership with frontline staff. This initial list is just the start of a NHS wide resource that will challenge and stimulate NHS staff to drive up the quality of care they deliver to patients”

There are more than 200 indicators on this initial list on the NHS Information Centre website. Each indicator has gone through an initial selection process to make sure it is suitable. This process was sponsored by five royal colleges and the British Cardiovascular Society and canvassed the views of frontline staff from across the NHS.

Clinicians can use this first list to choose indicators that are most relevant to their work with full explanations of how the indicators were constructed. In the next few months the data behind each indicator will be added to the website to improve accessibility to information on the quality of NHS services.

The process used to develop this initial list of clinical indicators included:

  • An online survey to gather feedback on more than 400 acute care indicators already in use in parts of the NHS
  • NHS-led work to develop regional indicators for the ten year plans for improving the quality of care described in each SHA’s local vision document
  • Engagement with royal colleges and other professional bodies

The Royal Colleges that sponsored the survey of acute care indicators and continue to play a role in the development of Indicators for Quality Improvement are:

  • Royal College of Surgeons
  • Royal College of Physicians
  • Royal College of Anaesthetists
  • Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
  • Royal College Psychiatrists

For further information, please contact:
Sarah Nevins
Press & Social Media Officer
Telephone: 020 3701 2543
Claire McLoughlin
Media & Communications Manager 
Telephone: 020 3701 2544
Out of hours contact number: 07860 755896


Note to editors:

The Indicators for Quality Improvement are on the NHS Information Centre Website


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