Improving health care outcomes

The health White Paper Equity and Excellence: liberating the NHS provides details of how the NHS is to be held to account against 'clinically credible and evidence-based outcome measures'.

A new NHS Outcomes Framework (being consulted on in Transparency in outcomes – a framework for the NHS) will include a set of national outcome goals determined by the Secretary of State. These will cover the three domains of quality, safety and patient experience. The NHS Commissioning Board will be held accountable for their delivery and will work with GP consortia to deliver improvements against the selected outcomes.

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is tasked with developing 150 quality standards for the main pathways of care, which should be 'reflected in commissioning contracts and financial incentives'. These will be similar to the stroke quality standard already published by NICE.

The development of best-practice tariffs will be accelerated and the Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) framework will be extended to support local quality improvement goals. Commissioners will be able to withhold payment for poor-quality care.

Further commentary and analysis from the Fund

We've produced a number of resources on the topics covered in this section of the White Paper, and have listed some of the key pieces of commentary and analysis below:

Quality of care resources

A new publication from the 'Quality in a Cold Climate' series, this report looks at the current quality of GP referrals and the approaches taken to try and control the volume, destination and content of referrals. (Publication, August 2010)

This paper examines the gap between the likely available funding and the level of funding required to achieve progress in the NHS. The authors of the paper give their exclusive views on the findings with our audio slideshows, blog and podcast. (Publication, July 2010)

If the coalition government is to achieve its ambition of creating a world-beating health service it needs to apply its focus on outcomes to help drive improvements and encourage – not obstruct – service change. (Blog, July 2010)

The NHS needs to emulate the integrated care systems of America if it is to deliver high-quality, responsive care at reasonable cost. (Blog, July 2010)

If the proposals set out in the health White Paper are implemented in full the changes will have far-reaching implications for the NHS. (Blog, July 2010)

Will the new quality accounts succeed in reflecting both local and national issues and get the right balance of supporting local improvement and boosting accountability? (Blog, July 2010)

Improving the quality of health services is a key priority for the government. We have been commissioning research on a number of dimensions of care to inform our Inquiry into the Quality of General Practice in England. (Project, 2010)

This year our Annual Conference will explore opportunities for ways of funding, organising and delivering high-quality care that crosses professional and organisational boundaries. (Event, November 2010)

This publication assesses how far current plans for quality accounts have gone to increase NHS accountability by making more information about quality available to the public. (Publication, April 2010)

Board members must focus effectively on the business of caring, and ensure that they have the time and training to develop their understanding of the issues around quality assurance and improvement. (Publication, April 2010)

This report aims to provoke and encourage thinking about the wide range of ways in which patient-reported outcome measures data (PROMs) can be used to inform decisions about health care. (Publication, March 2010)

This publication offers information about how quality is defined and how quality measures can be used – and misused. It sets out the main debates and choices faced by those involved in measuring and using data on quality. (Publication, February 2010)