GGI in 2014
Commissioning for Quality
The development of robust quality assurance frameworks in commissioning health and social care is inherently challenging. In particular, governing body members may not be aware of, or have regular access to, the range of audit, quality review and accreditation activity taking place in relation to the services they commission.
These activities can readily provide aggregated information on the state of practice within an organisation or field. The outputs of quality schemes can act as an easily accessible and clearly communicated touchstone for both the legacy and current environment of quality across the healthcare landscape without utilising further resources.
Working with South London Commissioning Support Unit and their client CCGs in 2014, GGI developed the ‘Commissioning for Quality’ programme which sought to raise awareness and confidence amongst CCG governing bodies around the range of quality assurance processes within NHS providers. As part of ‘Commissioning for Quality’, GGI worked with the CSU, CCGs and a range of national partner bodies to analyse how the more joined-up use of resources devoted to audit and quality activity across a healthcare system can better add to the assurance of the quality of care.
The programme produced a resource map of audit, quality review and accreditation programmes which held the potential to provide commissioners with validated insight into key care and management processes. Focusing in particular on schemes which use standards, incorporate an element of external review, lead to a published report, and have their own quality assurance process, GGI published two Board Assurance Prompts for CCG governing bodies.
The programme highlighted a range of assurance and improvement resources available to commissioners which did not require the commitment of further resources from CCGs. Importantly, ‘Commissioning for Quality’ also prompted important discussion and engagement between commissioners, providers, and partners about care pathways and system-wide approaches to assurance and quality improvement.