The Health and Care Standards with supporting guidance is structured along seven themes developed through engagement with patients, clinicians, stakeholders and identified as the priority areas for the NHS to be measured against. This aligns the Health and Care Standards to the NHS Outcomes and NHS Delivery frameworks also centred on the seven themes. Their interconnections and shared measures will be used to support partnership working and to deliver improvements in both health and wellbeing. The opportunity has also been taken to align outcomes with those of social services and public health.
The seven themes illustrated below as a wheel diagram, collectively describe how a service provides high quality, safe and reliable care, centred on the person. Person centred care is positioned in the centre of illustration and the dependence on good governance, leadership and accountability is illustrated by placing them around the seven themes.
Each of the themes includes a description of the key principle of the theme, what it means for a person when the standards within the theme is met and the criteria for each standard.
Each of the seven themes includes a number of standards. These are not listed in priority order and there is some overlap across themes and standards. Some standards do not stand alone but have a wider influence such as communicating effectively, quality improvement, research and innovation, information governance and communications technology, record keeping and people’s rights. Each standard describes the high-level outcome required to contribute to quality and safety, which is person centred and underpinned by good governance, leadership and accountability.
Supporting Guidance is available to help services meet the requirements for each standard.