The NQB brings together national organisations across the health system responsible for quality, including the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Monitor, the NHS Trust Development Authority, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the General Medical Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the NHS Commissioning Board (NHSCB) and the Department of Health (DH).

Their report, Quality in the new health system – Maintaining and improving quality from April 2013, which is currently in draft form, focuses on how the new system should prevent, identify and respond to serious failures in quality and provides a collective statement from NQB members as to:

  • The nature and place of quality in the new health system
  • The distinct roles and responsibilities for quality of the different parts of the system
  • How the different parts of the system should work together to share information and intelligence on quality, and to ensure an aligned and coordinated system-wide response in the event of a quality failure
  • The values and behaviours that all parts of the system need to display in order to put the interests of patients and the public before organisational interests

The report is described as a refresh of their February 2010 report entitled Review of Early Warning Systems in the NHS.

Chapter 4 is the largest, setting out in detail the roles of health and care professionals, clinical leaders, provider leaders, governors, clinical commissioning groups, local authority commissioners, NHSCB, CQC, Monitor, professional regulators, NHS Trust Development Authority, NICE, Health Education England and the DH. A summary of tools and levers is included at the end of this chapter.  

The report is accompanied by a covering letter from Sir David Nicholson, dated 16 August 2012, summarising the eight key messages.  

The NQB welcomes views by 30 September 2012. These should be sent to: nationalqualityboard@dh.gsi.gov.uk. Once the NQB has considered the conclusion of the Mid Staffordshire Inquiry it will publish its final version.