NICE quality standards
NICE quality standards are a concise set of prioritised statements designed to drive measurable quality improvements within a particular area of health or care.
NICE quality standards are derived from high quality guidance such as that from NICE or other sources accredited by NICE. Quality standards are developed independently by NICE, in collaboration with healthcare professionals and public health and social care practitioners, their partners and service users. Information on priority areas, people's experience of using services, safety issues, equality and cost impact are also considered during the development process.
NICE quality standards are central to supporting the Government's vision for a health and social care system focussed on delivering the best possible outcomes for people who use services, as detailed in the Health and Social Care Act (2012).
NICE quality standards enable:
- Health professionals and public health and social care practitioners to make decisions about care based on the latest evidence and best practice.
- People receiving health and social care services, their families and carers and the public to find information about the quality of services and care they should expect from their health and social care provider.
- Service providers to quickly and easily examine the performance of their organisation and assess improvement in standards of care they provide.
- Commissioners to be confident that the services they are purchasing are high quality and cost effective and focussed on driving up quality.
Integrated quality standards for health, public health and social care
Quality standards consider the complete care pathway, from public health to health and social care. Although some standards will be area specific, there will often be significant overlap across areas and these will be considered during development of the standard. Where appropriate, complementary referrals will be combined and developed as a fully integrated quality standard
Quality standards for health
Quality standards for health focus on the treatment and prevention of different diseases and conditions.
Quality standards will be reflected in the new Clinical Commissioning Group Outcome Indicator Set (CCGOIS) and will inform payment mechanisms and incentive schemes such as the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) and Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) Payment Framework.
NICE and NHS England have developed a mapping document to show how NICE quality standards can support quality improvement in relation to the NHS Outcomes Framework (NHS OF). It also recognises the role of measurement in this process and highlights links with the CCG OIS. Mapping the NHS Outcomes Framework and Clinical Commissioning Group Outcomes Indicator Set to NICE Quality Standards.
The Department of Health and other key partners worked with NICE to develop a list of topics for quality standard development in health-related topics which was referred to NICE in March 2012. Future health-related topics will be referred to NICE by NHS England.
Quality standards for social care
Quality standards for social care focus on the services and interventions to support the social care needs of service users.
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 set out a new responsibility for NICE to develop quality standards and other guidance for social care in England. Future topics will be referred by the Department of Health and Department for Education.
Quality standards for public health
Following the new public health responsibilities for local authorities, which came into effect in April 2013, NICE has been referred an initial programme of quality standards for public health. NICE will develop new quality standards on reducing tobacco use in the community, preventing harmful alcohol use, and strategies to prevent obesity in adults and children. These new topics complement other public health topics already referred to NICE by ministers with a healthcare focus: smoking cessation: supporting people to stop smoking; and physical activity: encouraging activity in all people in contact with the NHS.
Public health quality standards will support Public Health England, local authorities and the wider public health community. The first public health quality standard on smoking cessation was published in August 2013. This will be followed by a consultation on further topics for the longer term work programme. Beyond this, topics will be referred by the Department of Health.
Consultation on future public health topics
In order to develop the longer term public health quality standards work programme, NICE wants to hear from stakeholders to help decide on which topics should be referred to NICE. A consultation will therefore be held on the proposed list of topics from the 27 September until the 20 December.
Quality standards in development
View NICE quality standards currently in development.
This page was last updated: 07 March 2014