The NHS Quality Framework is a visual tool to remind us of the various ways in which we are continuing to build a system that provides the highest quality of care. The seven components of the Quality Framework represent key aspects of our quality culture here at the NHS, including the starting point of accountability, ensuring we have appropriate structure for improving quality and remembering to celebrate the great work we are doing every day. The Framework demonstrates how we support, enable and organize quality improvement in the NHS.
Accountability for quality is embedded in the work of each and every one of us in the NHS: quality is everyone’s job. We are all here for the patient, either directly or indirectly and are accountable for the care we provide, the support we give and the information we use to make important care and service decisions.
Our Executive Leadership Team at the NHS has reinforced the importance of quality by naming Quality & Safety as one of the three priorities for our organization, demonstrating their commitment to ongoing improvement. At all levels in our organization, there are formal and informal leaders; Leadership for quality simply means that we accept our role in providing the highest quality care and leading within our teams to ensure that this is achieved.
Support for quality is also structured at all levels in the NHS. On our frontlines, we are rolling out Unit Based Teams, a key initiative to support the ownership of quality at the unit level that ensures we build capacity and knowledge for improvement. The NHS Huddle Boards are another great tool to empower teams to achieve this ownership for quality and provide the structure to monitor our goals as a team. Managers and directors across the organization also report on key improvement metrics for their units or programs as part of our structured approach to accountability and leadership for quality.
Goals or aims for quality are apparent everywhere in our organization, from those areas of focus identified on unit huddle boards, to the localized improvement projects being worked on by Unit Based Teams, to the performance targets monitored by the sites each week at Rhythm Meetings. By setting aims, we know where we are performing well and where we have continued opportunities for improvement.
The NHS is committed to providing the resources and tools needed for teams to apply quality improvement across the NHS. Continuous quality improvement is about systematically trying out ideas, learning from them and making adjustments to make it better the next time: this is the essence of our NHS Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) Model (shown below), a simple approach to improvement taught to all Unit Based Teams.
Innovation & Scale
Through the structured opportunities for quality improvement, such as Huddles, Unit Based Teams and Rhythm Rounds, there is great room for innovation in how we approach our opportunities. There is great creativity in our team members and this can be boosted by encouraging everyone to participate in brain storming for improvement while using the Pick Matrix on your Huddle Board to select new opportunities. We encourage teams to learn from each other and “steal shamelessly” when it comes to tested improvement ideas.
Last, but certainly not least, the Quality Framework reminds us to celebrate the great work being done across the NHS. Key opportunities for celebration include recognizing team members at huddles or during Rhythm Rounds, highlighting team members who have received a STAR or nominating a peer for one of our NHS Awards of Excellence.