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Quality improvement

Quality improvement processes and techniques

Highlighting developments in quality improvement.

Learn more about developments in quality improvement through content giving practice examples, describing tools, learning through innovation and case studies, commentary and statistics.

Audit, reviews, legislation, inspections and regulation

Care Inspectorate

Annual returns go live

The annual return is now available for services to complete between 5 January and 16 February 2018.

Care Quality Commission

CQC responds to increased pressure on health and social care by pausing some routine inspections

CQC has taken the decision to pause some routine inspections of NHS acute services, GP practices and urgent care services planned for January.

Department of Health and Social Care

Independent doctors to be rated by the Care Quality Commission

New changes mean that, for the first time, all healthcare organisations in England that offer regulated care will be rated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Organisations will have to display their inspection ratings so patients can clearly see safety standards.

NHS Confederation

Consultation launched on conditions for prescribing over-the-counter medicines

NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) and NHS England have launched a joint consultation on commissioning guidance detailing conditions for which over-the-counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care.

NHS Digital

NHS Digital welcomes the introduction of CQC’s new rating system for digital GP tools

The Department of Health have announced that, for the first time, all providers of care in England will be rated by the CQC and must display those ratings so patients can clearly see safety standards.

Guidance, innovation and tools

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Toolkit to promote safe surgery

The toolkit helps perioperative and surgical units in hospitals identify opportunities to improve care and safety practices and implement evidence-based interventions to prevent surgical site infections.

BBC Health

NHS cancer, A&E and operations interactive target tracker

For each there are strict targets local services are expected to meet across the UK. But what are the chances of being seen in time where you live?

Health Foundation

Our food and our health

This infographic infographic looks at how a range of factors influence our health. Jane Landon discusses the changes needed in our food environment to ensure that everyone has enough good food to live a healthy life.


Enhancing recovery from sepsis

Survival from sepsis has improved in recent years, resulting in an increasing number of patients who have survived sepsis treatment. Current sepsis guidelines do not provide guidance on post hospital care or recovery.

NHS Confederation

Innovation in housing, care and support

This briefing makes the case for collaboration between health and housing organisations in order to improve patient outcomes while relieving pressure on mental health services. It contains four case studies on innovative support and care services delivered through collaborations between housing and health care providers.

NHS England

New approach to NHS clinical assessment could save thousands of lives

NHS England is asking every hospital trust to adopt the Royal College of Physicians’ new clinical assessment system. The National Early Warning Score (NEWS) system was developed by the Royal College of Physicians with the aim of creating a standardised approach to clinical assessment across the country.

Nuffield Trust

Falling short: Why the NHS is still struggling to make the most of new innovations

Despite there being a good understanding of what’s obstructing innovation in the NHS, it is still slow to adopt new technological ideas. This briefing has eight reflections on how to address to problem.

Pediatric Quality and Safety

WE CARE 4 KIDS: Use of a Rounding Tool in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit

This study looks at the implementation of a daily rounding tool in a paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) to improve the discussion performance of identified clinical elements.

Public Health England

Adult obesity: applying All Our Health

Evidence and guidance for healthcare professionals, to help people change their eating and activity habits.

Public Health England

Breast screening: women wanting to attend service out of area

This guidance is aimed at breast screening providers and provides advice on dealing with requests from women who ask to be screened outside their area.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Professional standards for hospital pharmacy

The professional standards have been in use since 2012, they were previously updated in 2014. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society have updated these standards in 2017 using the RPS process for the development of standards and guidance.

Practice examples and case studies

Pediatric Quality & Safety

Reducing antibiotic use in respiratory syncytial virus

The increased incidence of multidrug-resistant organisms is associated with increased morbidity, mortality, hospital length of stay, and cost. Estimates show that up to 50% of antimicrobial use is inappropriate. This initiative focuses on inappropriate use of antibiotics in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infections. This virus is the most common cause of bronchiolitis during childhood.

Reports, commentary and statistics

Age UK

Older carers left to fill the gap as our social care system crumbles

New figures from Age UK reveal the vast numbers of older carers being left to fill the gap as our social care system crumbles. Older carers now providing nearly 54 million hours of care a week in England.

BBC News

NHS parking charges: Hospitals made £174m in a year

Hospitals in England made a record £174m last year in charging for parking, an investigation has found. The figure for 2016-17 was 6% up on the previous financial year, data collected by the Press Association under the Freedom of Information Act showed.

British Medical Association

Keeping Europe healthy

These presentation slides highlight the BMA's concerns about how Brexit may affect health care in the UK and the consequences for the NHS.

Centre for Policy Studies

A Royal Commission on the NHS: The Remit

Lord Saatchi has proposed the creation of a Royal Commission to safeguard the future of the NHS. This follow-up report by Lord Saatchi and Dominic Nutt sets out the remit and priorities that such a Commission should adopt, in order to address the NHS's most important problems.

Commonwealth Fund

Using community partnerships to integrate health and social services for high-need, high-cost patients

This briefing examines the evidence on integrated community health and care services for patients with complex and multiple needs in the United States. It identifies the five common challenges to implementing an integrated approach successfully and outlines solutions for these challenges.

Healthcare Financial Management Association

NHS efficiency map

This map is a tool that promotes best practice in identifying, delivering and monitoring cost improvement programmes in the NHS. It contains links to a range of tools and guidance to help NHS bodies improve their efficiency.

House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts

Mental health in prisons

Record high numbers of self-inflicted deaths and incidents of self-harm in prisons are a damning indictment of the current state of the mental health of those in prison and the prison environment overall.

House of Commons Library

Accountable care organisations

This briefing paper looks at the introduction of accountable care organisations (ACO's) in the NHS in England and the development of the ACO policy, and comments on its potential impact.

Local Government Association

Making obesity everybody's business: a whole systems approach to obesity

This briefing focuses on the Whole Systems Obesity programme, which will provide local authorities with a different approach to tackling obesity. The programme is exploring the evidence and local practice to develop guidance and tools to help councils set up a whole systems approach to obesity in their local area.

NHS Clinical Commissioners

Making strategic commissioning work: lessons from home and away

With the move towards accountable care, clinical commissioners are starting to take on a more strategic role. This report aims to support commissioners in these new functions by outlining best practice from health systems around the world that are developing policy around new care models and place-based systems of care.

NHS England

Conditions for which over-the-counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care: a consultation on guidance for CCGs

This consultation seeks views on proposals to end routine prescribing of over-the-counter products for minor or short-term conditions that are self-limiting or that could be managed by self-care. Feedback on this consultation will be accepted until 14 March 2018.

Nuffield Trust

Admissions of inequality: emergency hospital use for children and young people

This briefing looks at the relationship between deprivation and the use of emergency hospital care by children and young people in England. It aims to describe and highlight areas of inequality and to explore how they have changed over time.

Public Health England

What’s it like to have an STI?

PHE has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the risks of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) with a particular focus on two of the most prevalent infections, chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

Public Health England

PHE launches Change4Life campaign around children’s snacking

Public Health England is helping parents take control of their children’s snacking by launching the first Change4Life campaign promoting healthier snacks. This is because half of children’s sugar intake, currently around 7 sugar cubes a day, comes from unhealthy snacks and sugary drinks, leading to obesity and dental decay.

Public Health Wales Observatory

Health and its determinants in Wales: Overview

The Health and its determinants in Wales report provides an overview of the health and well-being of the population of Wales, including the burden of disease. It outlines the main causes of death, disability and illness which make up the picture of health in Wales. It demonstrates the gains made but it also highlights the significant challenges faced both now and in the future.

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