Department of Health publishes first NHS Outcomes Framework

The Department of Health (DH) yesterday published the first NHS outcomes framework, identifying key indicators that will judge the service across five ‘domains’.

The five domains are:

  1. Preventing people from dying prematurely
  2. Enhancing quality of life for people with long term conditions
  3. Helping people to recover from episodes of ill health or following injury
  4. Ensuring that people have a positive experience of care
  5. Treating and caring for people in a safe environment and protecting them from avoidable harm

Domains 1-3 make up the ‘clinical effectiveness’ component of Lord Darzi’s definition of quality, with domain 4 being ‘patient experience’ and domain 5 being ‘patient safety.’

Each domain follows a similar structure with:
• a single or small number of overarching indicator(s), allowing the Secretary of State for Health to track the progress of the NHS as a whole in delivering outcomes across the breadth of activity covered by the domain;
• a small set of improvement areas where the NHS Commissioning Board will be tasked with delivering better outcomes because the evidence suggests that significant improvement or health gain is possible; and
• a supporting suite of NICE Quality Standards setting out what high quality care looks like for a particular pathway of care.

Across the five domains there are 10 overarching indicators, 31 improvement areas and 51 indicators in total.

Download the NHS Outcomes framework 2011/12 and associated documentation here.

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