Readers will recall that in our September edition of Health Legal Update we reported on the draft report of the National Quality Report, Maintaining and Improving Quality from April 2013.

A final version of the report was published in January 2013. It will however be reviewed in light of "relevant" findings and recommendations from the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry.

The main chapters cover:

Chapter 2 Common purpose

Chapter 3 Shared values and behaviours

Chapter 4 Roles and responsibilities

Chapter 5 Working together

Chapter 6 Making it happen

Helpful points to note within this are:

  • They adopt the seven step quality framework from High Care for All
  • An organisation that is truly putting patients first will be one that embraces and nurtures a culture of openness and learning
  • This culture needs to reach beyond organisational boundaries
  • Leadership within provider organisations must routinely monitor the quality of care being provided across all services, challenge poor performance or variation in quality, ask for help and raise concerns should significant problems arise, incentivise and reward high quality care, work with other health and social care organisations and foster a culture of openness and transparency
  • Commissioning and regulatory bodies should work together to share information and intelligence on risk
  • Organisations need to actively listen and proactively engage. Patient participation must become a central component
  • Health and care professionals are the first line of defence. This applies equally to primary care. Leadership within provider organisations is ultimately responsible
  • Quality is equally as important as stewardship of public resources and agendas/discussions should reflect this
  • Governors should be particularly interested in scrutinising information about the quality of care. The role of governors will provide a vital level of oversight
  • Each organisation is to consider this report as a leadership team, board or partnership, as a senior executive team and as a group of clinical leaders and senior managers