07 December 2011
The government announcement today (Weds, 07 Dec 2012) of the new version of the NHS Outcomes Framework represents the way forward for measuring quality of the service the NHS provides and should be firmly embedded in how services are designed for patients, says the Royal College of Surgeons.
Surgery is leading the way in medicine for publicly reported measurement of clinical outcomes and this approach is helping surgical units across the country improve as well as defining how surgery could be better. It is these audits that will stand behind and provide the evidence for the overall framework of outcomes the Department of Health is committing to. The RCS is actively encouraging and supporting those areas of surgery currently not gathering and reporting outcome measures to do so.
Norman Williams, President of the Royal College of Surgeons, said:
"The Royal College of Surgeons strongly supports the focus on improving clinical outcomes for patients outlined in the NHS Outcomes Framework and, in particular, in this newest publication, the increased attention given to reducing premature mortality for all cancers. It will help the NHS Commissioning Board, clinical commissioning groups, NHS trusts and all clinicians and managers to focus on our most important challenge - to work together to bring the quality and standard of care for all patients, of all ages, up to that currently being experienced by those treated in the highest performing hospitals. At the moment, patient death rates and standards of care vary significantly between hospitals and specialties and, as we have consistently recommended in our national guidance, this must be improved."