Quality statement 2: Contacts for ongoing care

Quality statement

People using adult NHS services understand the roles of healthcare professionals involved in their care and know how to contact them about their ongoing healthcare needs. [2012, updated 2019]

Rationale

NHS services are provided by different types of professionals in a range of settings, which can be confusing. Understanding the role of all those directly involved in a person's care and how to contact them can build trust and confidence, reduce concerns and help develop relationships. Maintaining a consistent team can provide familiarity and help improve relationships. All this supports a person to more effectively manage their health and the effect it has on their life.

Quality measures

Structure

a) Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that patients are aware of all healthcare professionals involved in their care. This should include the roles and responsibilities of the members of the healthcare team and how to contact them about ongoing healthcare needs.

Data source: Local data collection.

b) Evidence of local arrangements to ensure continuity of care and that, whenever possible, people see the same healthcare professional or team throughout a single episode of care.

Data source: Local data collection.

Process

a) Proportion of people staying in hospital who knew which nurse was in charge of looking after them.

Numerator – the number in the denominator who felt they knew which nurse was in charge of looking after them.

Denominator – the number of people staying overnight in hospital.

Data source: The Care Quality Commission (CQC) Adult inpatient survey. This survey is repeated annually, and results are available for NHS trusts.

b) Proportion of people staying in hospital who were told who to contact if they were worried about their condition or treatment after they left hospital.

Numerator – the number in the denominator who were told who to contact if they were worried about their condition or treatment after they left hospital.

Denominator – the number of people staying overnight in hospital.

Data source: The CQC Adult inpatient survey. This survey is repeated annually, and results are available for NHS trusts.

c) Proportion of people attending an emergency department who were told who to contact if they were concerned about their condition or treatment after they left.

Numerator – the number in the denominator who were told who to contact if they were worried about their condition or treatment after they left the department.

Denominator – the number of people attending a type 1 or type 3 emergency department.

Data source: The CQC Emergency department survey. This survey is repeated annually, and results are available for NHS trusts.

Outcome

a) Evidence from patient experience surveys and feedback that patients were aware of all healthcare professionals involved in their care, and the roles and responsibilities of the members of the healthcare team.

Data source: Local data collection, for example from surveys.

b) Evidence from patient experience surveys and feedback that patients saw the same healthcare professional or team throughout a single episode of care.

Data source: Local data collection, for example from surveys.

c) Evidence from patient experience surveys and feedback that patients know who to contact, how to contact them and when to make contact about their ongoing healthcare needs.

Data source: Local data collection, for example from surveys.

What the quality statement means for different audiences

Service providers (such as GP practices, hospitals, community services and local authorities) ensure that systems are in place to deliver care by the same healthcare professional or team (whenever possible). Service providers also ensure that people using their services understand the roles of healthcare professionals involved in their care and know how to contact them about their ongoing healthcare needs.

Health and social care professionals (such as GPs, doctors, dentists, nurses and social workers) explain to the people they provide care to about their role, how it relates to the roles of others, and how and when to contact them about their ongoing healthcare needs.

Commissioners (such as clinical commissioning groups and NHS England) commission services with specifications that require healthcare professionals to explain to the people they provide care to about their roles and how to contact them about their ongoing healthcare needs.

People using NHS services understand the roles of the different people involved in their care and are given clear advice about how and when to contact them about their healthcare needs. If possible, they see the same professionals throughout their care.

Source guidance

Patient experience in adult NHS services (2012) NICE guideline CG138, recommendations 1.4.1, 1.4.4, 1.4.5 and 1.4.6