The national structures and systems designed to assure the quality of care delivered by the NHS are currently under intense scrutiny.
It is widely expected that regulators will come in for further criticism in the autumn when the Public Inquiry into the serious failures of care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust reports. The Francis Inquiry’s Chair, Robert Francis QC, is likely to propose far-reaching changes at all levels of the system, including to the external organisations that regulate quality. But will further changes to national structures and systems make such gross failings in quality less likely in future?
In this paper we set out our views on how the system of quality assurance, including regulation, needs to evolve, the principles on which it should be built and how it should operate.