A report by the King’s Fund titled ‘improving quality in the English NHS’ has called for a shift from the ‘regulation, inspection and performance management’ model of quality improvement in the NHS.
The report recommends a new approach which would look at refocusing the processes within the NHS better and increasing cost efficiency. The report calls for a reasonably sized centre of expertise with a clear vision of new ways to improve the NHS.
The report suggests an amalgamation of some of the expertise that is available from a number of governmental bodies into a streamlined centre for improvement. At present the NHS has Health Education England, NHS England and NHS Improvement. The suggestion in the report is to bring the best practitioners within these organisations together to form a separate modestly sized centre of quality improvement. This newly reformed organisation of excellence could advise on the implementation of the key recommendations from the Carter review on productivity.
The response following the Francis inquiry with its accompanying call for more powers within the CQC’s inspection regime was used in the report as an example of the action that is now needed to drive forward improvement in the NHS.
Perhaps what is needed most is an organisation which is entirely independent from political control that can suggest and implement improvements within the NHS without the burden of financial considerations which seem to be at the forefront of most thought, including the King’s Fund report.