Quality of care reviews
Healthcare Improvement Scotland is introducing
new comprehensive assessments of the quality of healthcare. This is
part of a programme of work to implement a new framework-based
approach to comprehensive assessment and external quality assurance
of the care provided in NHSScotland.
Our aim is to deliver an operational review
methodology that is proportionate, sustainable and focused on
quality improvement. The proposed methodology is
currently being tested with the service.
The new approach is due for phased
implementation across Scotland from autumn 2017. It will include
tools and guidance which have been co-produced with stakeholders to
support internal self-assessment and external validation of the
quality of care.
We expect this new approach will lead to
- Clear, consistent and joined-up quality assurance using a core
methodology that still remains flexible.
- Increased collaboration with stakeholders to reduce
duplication, identify priorities and sustainability issues, and
share intelligence, learning and good practice.
- Increased consistency through use of a common quality framework
for service provider self-assessment and external validation of the
quality of care, which will also support identification of any
variation in the perception of care delivered.
- Use of overarching measures, evidence, shared intelligence and
open dialogue to support early identification of issues.
We are working closely with other programmes
of work where there are overlaps and interfaces to the quality of
care reviews programme, such as the National Care Standards and the
Excellence in Care work. We will also be engaging with external
stakeholders directly, and indirectly through professional groups,
organisations or individuals represented on the working groups, to
share key messages and provide opportunity for engagement and
Quality framework and self-assessment tool
A shared quality framework will underpin
service provider self-assessment and external validation of the
quality of care. It will provide consistent guidance to services,
and to those externally quality assuring them, about what good
quality care looks like, and how this can be evidenced.
The draft quality framework developed in 2015
has been reviewed and streamlined in response to the
consultation feedback and has been aligned to the agreed
National Care Standards principles. An initial set of
indicators/measures has also been drawn up.
This will help to assess quality of care ‘in
the round’ using the various quantitative and qualitative data
available and existing measurement approaches. The revised Quality
Framework and overarching indicators/measures will be used to
inform a self-assessment tool for the testing phase.
We are undertaking a series of test exercises
to apply the revised framework and self-assessment tool at
different levels within service settings or an organisation. This
will help determine if the qualitative and quantitative data
available is sufficient to inform a robust external assessment of
quality of care.
One of the test exercises is a full pilot
thematic review within an NHSScotland Child and Adolescent Mental
Further detail on the quality of care reviews programme,
including indicative timescales, is available in our frequent asked questions for healthcare
If you would like more information or have any questions, please
email the quality of care reviews team at: