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First Commissioning Outcomes Framework indicators revealed

8042195_articleCare for those recovering from stroke, tackling diabetes, and improving maternal health are among topics covered in the first set of Commissioning Outcomes Framework (COF) indicators published by NICE.

The COF is being developed by the NHS Commissioning Board, with support from NICE and groups of patients and experts, to improve the quality of healthcare provided at a local level.

From April 2013, it will be used to measure the quality and outcomes of healthcare commissioned by Clinical Commissioning Groups.

A set of 44 indicators have been recommended by the COF Advisory Committee and are published today. A selection of final indicators will be considered by the NHS Commissioning Board in autumn 2012 for inclusion in the 2013/14 COF.

Among the areas covered are enhancing the quality of life for those with long-term conditions, and care for those immediately after stroke and following hospital discharge.

Studies show that more can be done improve the care of those who suffered stroke, with research from 2011 suggesting less than half of stroke survivors had received an assessment of their health and social care needs.

The new indicator for stroke aims to tackle this with a measure for people who have had an acute stroke receive treatment for dissolving blood clots, known as thrombolysis.

This measures a key component of high-quality care defined in NICE's quality standard stroke; namely that patients with suspected stroke should be admitted directly to a specialist acute stroke unit and assessed for thrombolysis, receiving it if clinically indicated.

Further indicators measure whether people with diabetes have received all nine of their care processes.

Professor Gillian Leng, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Health and Social Care at NICE, said: "By setting out the aspects of care that are essential in facilitating the best health outcomes, such as the need for people who have had an acute stroke to receive thrombolysis, the quality of care being commissioned for local populations can be measured.

"This will enable the groups responsible for commissioning NHS care to be held to account, and will ultimately drive up the standards of health care delivered."

Professor Danny Keenan, COF Advisory Committee Chair, said: "The broad range of clinical expertise within the independent committee, including GPs, hospital doctors, patients and commissioners, ensures that the menu of COF indicators recommended are workable, and can help improve the quality of commissioning to benefit patient care.

"We're pleased to recommend this robust set of indicators for potential inclusion in the first COF, and hope that they will help the new commissioning groups to secure NHS services for their populations that will lead to improved health outcomes."

The set of 44 proposed new indicators have been identified from NICE quality standards, the NHS Outcomes Framework and other existing indicator collections such as national audits.

1 August 2012

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Copyright 2014 National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. All rights reserved.