Responses to Quality Accounts
What are Quality Accounts?
All providers of healthcare services in England, whether they are NHS bodies, private or third sector organisations, must publish an annual Quality Account. A Quality Account does exactly as its name suggests - it is an account of the quality of services the organisation has provided. Quality Accounts report to patients and the public on how well the service provider has performed, how it has achieved its targets and where improvements need to be made. The Quality Account is also the organisation's opportunity to inform its patients and the public of what its targets are for the future and how it intends to improve services for all.
How is the Medway LINk involved?
Such providers have a legal duty to send their Quality Accounts to the LINk in their area, inviting comments on the report prior to publication. Primary Care Trusts are exempt from this requirement. As part of local scrutiny, the Medway LINk is uniquely positioned to provide assurance on behalf of the community in Medway and it takes this role very seriously. The LINk commissioned Canterbury Christ Church University to help develop a toolkit to assist in the gathering of evidence for the LINk’s contribution. The LINk then actively seeks the views of its participants and the public using this toolkit, focussing on experiences in hospitals and specifically around patient safety and clinical effectiveness. This evidence is then included in the LINk’s response, indicating whether it believes the Trusts’ reports are a fair reflection of healthcare services provided, based on the patient’s experience.
How important is the LINk's response to a Quality Account?
The feedback that the Medway LINk receives from its participants is a reflection of what people are experiencing in health services right here, right now. The LINk offers people the opportunity to comment on local hospital services and this is then fed straight back to the Department of Health in a collective response. Such opportunities add to the LINk’s wealth of evidence and information about patients’ views of those services, as well as informing local Trusts and commissioners of services. The toolkit will enable more effective engagement about the quality of hospital services, to take place throughout the year and across a representative cross-section of the Medway public. The toolkit implemented for Quality Accounts will be a useful asset when considering other public engagement activities.
Medway LINk Responses to Quality Accounts
- Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust
- Medway Community Healthcare
- Medway NHS Foundation Trust
- South East Coast Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust
To view historic responses to the Quality Accounts Project please visit the Governance and Publications page on this website.