NHS Improvement

It came into being on 1st Apr 2016. It is the operational name for an organisation that brings together:

  • Monitor
  • NHS Trust Development Authority
  • Patient Safety, including the National Reporting and Learning System
  • Advancing Change Team
  • Intensive Support Teams

NHS Improvement is responsible for overseeing foundation trusts and NHS trusts, as well as independent providers that provide NHS-funded care. It offers the support these providers need to give patients consistently safe, high quality, compassionate care within local health systems that are financially sustainable. By holding providers to account and, where necessary, intervening, it help the NHS to meet its short-term challenges and secure its future.

Currently, NHS is under severe pressure. More is asked of NHS every year as the population grows and changes. The public funding for NHS is not growing so fast.  A lot of NHS trusts and foundation trusts are facing big challenges. Their task is to meet the nation’s healthcare needs within the NHS budget. How can they extend services and maintain or improve the quality of what they do and at the same time keep a lid on the cost. The answer is to work together with the local communities, other NHS and social care organisations in remodelling local health care systems. With everyone’s input systems can be designed to deliver high-quality affordable care indefinitely but none of this is easy.

NHS improvement works alongside NHS trusts and foundation trusts to help them overcome these challenges. NHS Improvement supports their efforts to

  1. Care quality
  2. Operational efficiency &
  3. Financial management

NHS improvement also holds trusts to account in meeting national standards in all these areas. NHS improvement as part of their statutory duty intervenes in Trusts which can’t meet these standards to protect and promote the interests of people who use health care services. As sector regulators, NHS improvement also sets the rules determining the tariffs for NHS services and make sure that procurement, choice and competition operate in patient’s best interests.

NHS Improvement helps the trust help themselves in 3 main ways:

  1. First, they provide the board members and managers with more of the skills, systems and information they need to prevent, pre-empt and tackle their particular issue and to continuously improve.
  2. Second, they give trusts practical evidence-based help. They advise on how to make services more efficient without eroding quality for instance by managing waiting list differently. They can suggest on how to improve clinical quality without overspending. NHS improvement tries hard to avoid duplicating. Their first instinct is to check what expertise is out there and link people together so they are a hub for sharing existing good practice and knowledge across the sector
  3. Third, NHS Improvement spells out what success looks like for the trusts so that everyone knows what they are aiming for and how to measure progress.

NHS improvement work with other national partners at the centre of the health system like NHS England and the Care quality commission to make sure they all speak with one voice to the sector and the individual messages and actions are consistent.

Ref: https://improvement.nhs.uk


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