Research report
8 Dec 2016
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Quality at a cost is the fourth annual statement from QualityWatch, a joint research programme from the Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation. 

Summary

Amid growing pressures on the NHS, including budget constraints and increasing demand, the report identifies some aspects of care that are performing well, but also highlights continuing problems, including access to services and a slowing down of improvement in performance.

QualityWatch routinely monitors over 300 indicators spread across all domains of quality. This report considers a selection of areas from within this set, covering different stages of a patient’s experience of the health service, to give a picture of quality in 2016. It looks across six main areas: 

  • Public health 
  • Primary care
  • Ambulances
  • Hospital care
  • Mental health
  • Condition-specific care (stroke and hip fracture)

We observe that the pressure of austerity did not impact on quality measures straight away, but took a few years to be felt. Authors conclude that further ‘delayed decline’ could occur in other aspects of care quality, such as effectiveness of treatment or patient safety, given the extent of the challenges faced and ongoing austerity in health and social care spending.

Please go to QualityWatch to find out more about the research and to download the report. 

More about QualityWatch 

QualityWatch is a major research programme from the Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation that provides independent scrutiny into how the quality of health and social care is changing over time. For further resources and analysis from this programme of work, visit the dedicated QualityWatch website.

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