The King's Fund

How do quality accounts measure up?

  • Format: Printed copy
  • Author(s): Catherine Foot, Shilpa Ross, Tom Lyscom, Veena Raleigh
  • Publication date: 06-Jan-2011

Quality accounts are a key mechanism through which health care organisations can demonstrate their focus on improving the quality of their service. The government has recently undertaken an evaluation of the 2009/10 quality accounts and set out their expectations for 2010/11.

The King’s Fund undertook an independent analysis of a sample of quality accounts produced by a range of providers – acute trusts, mental health trusts, independent providers. The analysis focused on three particular aspects of the quality accounts:

  • the choice of quality measures used to review performance, their reliability and presentation
  • the quality of the data and how far providers have participated in national clinical audits and confidential enquiries
  • how providers have reported patient and public feedback and involvement of local stakeholders and what external comments have focused on.

This paper includes examples from 2009/10 quality accounts that show how the content and the presentation of information can vary. Based on these examples, we make recommendations for providers when they are developing and writing a quality account.