Providers are delivering - and here's how

NHS Providers is launching a major new programme of work, Providers deliver, to celebrate and promote the work of NHS trusts and foundation trusts in improving care.

At the core of this rolling programme is a new publication series. The first of these biannual reports focuses on how trusts have responded to feedback from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in a positive and systematic way, encouraging great ideas that have made a difference for patients and service users.

It is striking that whereas in 2014, over half (68%) of trusts were rated ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’ by CQC, in 2019, the majority of trusts (59%) are now rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ Between August 2017 and August 2019 the number of trusts rated ‘outstanding’ by CQC increased from 14 to 24 and the number rated ‘good’ increased from 96 to 107.

The report Providers deliver: better care for patients considers both the leadership approaches and frontline initiatives that underpin improvements in quality. Through 11 case study conversations, it considers some of the frontline work that has contributed to trusts’ improvements in CQC ratings, as well as exploring the role of trust leaders in providing an enabling, supportive environment in which this work has been possible.

These improvements are particularly remarkable given the challenging environment in which trusts are delivering care. There is intense financial pressure on the provider sector and, despite the additional funding settlement for the NHS announced in 2018, trust leaders are concerned about their ability to deal with the ongoing rise in demand on services.

Trusts are also facing ongoing workforce challenges, with many struggling to recruit and retain staff. On top of this, many trusts are working with out of date buildings, estates, equipment and infrastructure that are not fit for purpose and desperately in need of upgrade.

But this report demonstrates how – in difficult circumstances - trust leaders and staff are coming up with ideas and solutions to deliver better care. We will develop this approach in future publications, alongside work to promote these achievements in our media and stakeholder engagement, through a range of channels including social media, our website, and our networks.


This report demonstrates how – in difficult circumstances - trust leaders and staff are coming up with ideas and solutions to deliver better care.



Announcing the launch of the Providers deliver programme, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, and deputy chief executive, Saffron Cordery, said:

“It is inevitable that the NHS’ funding settlement and the long term plan will heighten expectations of what the health service can be expected to deliver.

“As we work to influence and shape the environment in which trusts operate, highlighting the many challenges they face, we also want to ensure the extraordinary work and achievements by trusts and their staff are acknowledged, and that the lessons learned are shared.”

“NHS trusts are held accountable when they fall short. But we should also celebrate their successes, and promote understanding of approaches and ideas that could benefit patients across the NHS. Providers deliver has an important role to play in this.”

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