Providers treating NHS patients to be made to publish ‘quality accounts’ alongside financial reports

According to the Health Service Journal (HSJ), from April 2010 all providers treating NHS patient will have to publish “quality accounts” alongside their financial reports. These are intended to provide patients with easy to read information on health outcomes. The shift from monitoring targets and process indicators of performance to health outcomes is a key feature of the Darzi review of the NHS in England.

By 2010-11 up to 3% of annual hospital trust income will be contingent on meeting service quality requirements, which will include trust performance in relation to patient reported outcomes of care.

As part of the new quality drive, and to ensure effective implementation of Lord Darzi’s recommendations, the Department of Health (DH) is setting up the National Quality Board. It will report to the health secretary and be chaired by the NHS chief executive, David Nicholson. As reported in the HSJ, however, Nuffield Trust director Jennifer Dixon has said the board introduced a further “blurring” and confusion over the remit of regulators – specifically Monitor and the Care Quality Commission – and performance management.

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