The 2010 NHS White Paper: Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS set out plans for measuring NHS performance through a new, national ‘Outcomes Framework’, the intention being to place more emphasis on the results achieved for patients rather than processes undertaken. Our response examines some of the practical issues associated with turning this into a reality.
The Nuffield Trust supports using more health outcome data to plan and manage health services. However, the measurement of health care is highly complex and in our response we stress the need to develop the framework carefully.
A particular challenge is identifying outcome measures that are sufficiently broad to capture the experiences of many patients, yet specific enough to be attributable to specific healthcare ‘interventions’ rather than other confounding factors, such as lifestyle or family health history. For this reason we advocate building a suite of quantitative and qualitative measures (around outcomes and process) to ensure that a wide range of perspectives is captured.
Nuffield Trust (2010) Transparency in outcomes (a framework for the NHS): our consultation response. Consultation response. Nuffield Trust.