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Health and Care Quality Standards 2023

The Health and Care Quality Standards replace the 2015 Health and Care Standards as set out in WHC/2023/013.   The inclusion of quality directly aligns the standards with the Duty of Quality introduced in April 2023 through the Health and Social Care (Quality and Engagement) (Wales) Act 2020. The standards set out what the people of Wales can expect when they access health services and what part they themselves can play in promoting their own health and wellbeing. They set out the expectations for services and organisations, whether they provide or commission services for their local citizens.

The Standards provide a consistent framework that enables health services to look across the range of their services in an integrated way to ensure that all that they do is of the highest quality and that they are doing the right thing, in the right way, in the right place at the right time and with the right staff.  The Health and Care Quality Standards are a way to apply the Duty of Quality in practice across all services and functions, whether clinical or non-clinical. Quality-driven decision making should improve the quality of health services and maintain focus on improving outcomes for people.

Decisions should be based on the 12 Health and Care Quality Standards 2023: Safe, Timely, Effective, Efficient, Equitable and Person-centred (STEEP) care delivered through: Leadership, Workforce, Culture and Valuing People, Information, Learning, improvement and research, Whole systems approach.

The below diagram illustrates the standards: