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:
- Preventing people from dying prematurely
- Enhancing quality of life for people with long term conditions
- Helping people to recover from episodes of ill health or following injury
- Ensuring that people have a positive experience of care
- 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.