Welcome to the first in a new publication series from NHS Providers in which we celebrate and promote the work of NHS trusts and foundation trusts in improving care for patients and service users. As we seek 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.
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. However, it will also be vital in the coming months and years to ensure those expectations are not based on flawed assumptions about what can and should be achieved.
We are working to ensure the detailed implementation process is suitably prioritised and resourced. Expectations must reflect the reality of growing demographic pressures, workforce shortages and the impact of the sustained financial squeeze, including an impoverished estate and a performance drift away from long established constitutional standards.
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.
In this first report we are focusing on how trusts have responded to feedback from Care Quality Commission (CQC) in a positive and systematic way, encouraging great ideas that have made a difference for patients and service users. Despite all the well known workforce, financial and demand challenges trusts have faced over the last five years, they have not just maintained, but consistently improved, the quality of health and care services they provide, as measured by the evidence of CQC ratings. That’s a pretty extraordinary achievement given the scale of the challenges faced and it’s an achievement confirmed by the rock solid, objective, output of a rigorous and well resourced comprehensive CQC inspection system.
In future publications we will develop this approach to explore specific areas of activity where trusts and frontline staff are delivering success.
We will work with trusts to celebrate their achievements, share their learning, and show how – given the right opportunity – providers are delivering outstanding care for patients and service users.
Chief Executive, NHS Providers
Deputy Chief Executive, NHS Providers