20 February 2018
Sarah Scobie

Sarah Scobie

Deputy Director of Research
Nuffield Trust

Since 2013, the QualityWatch programme has monitored trends in the quality of health and social care, providing external independent scrutiny, outside of the statutory system. We have taken a broad view of quality, during a time of significant pressure on the health and social care system, through regular updates to a comprehensive range of indicators, and more detailed analysis and reports.

For example, last week we published updates to indicators on community mental health services, smoking in pregnancy, support for older people recovering from illness, ambulance response times and carers’ quality of life.

As we move into our fifth year, we have also been reviewing our own work, to make sure that QualityWatch continues to meet its original objectives, and remains relevant to the health and social care system in the future.

As we identified when QualityWatch was launched, quality of care is a notoriously difficult thing to assess. It is complex to define, and hard to measure or assess in ways that are rigorous and consistent. During the QualityWatch programme we have developed and refined measures of quality, as well as identifying important gaps in the information available.

We are now reviewing our 300+ indicators, to enable us to focus analysis and insight on a smaller number of indicators, while retaining a comprehensive range of topics. We plan to update topics and measures to reflect new policy initiatives and emerging quality issues, and to retire measures which are no longer sensitive to change. Alongside updates to the indicators, we will produce briefings and blogs to highlight trends and new findings, as well as revisiting persistent areas of concern or areas of improvement.

We would like to hear your thoughts, comments and advice on changes we could make. Please let us know if you have views on:

- Indicators which should be retired

- Suggestions for new topics or individual measures

- Requests for analysis we should extend or update

To take part, please comment using the comment box below or email us at feedback@qualitywatch.org.uk


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