What do we mean by high quality care?

NHS England’s mission is to secure high quality care for all – now and for future generations.

We believe that the NHS should support everyone to have greater control of their health and wellbeing, and to live longer, healthier lives by offering high quality health and care services that are compassionate, inclusive and constantly improving:

High quality care for all, now and for future generations


The single common definition of quality which encompasses three equally important parts:

  • Care that is clinically effective– not just in the eyes of clinicians but in the eyes of patients themselves;
  • Care that is safe; and,
  • Care that provides as positive an experience for patients as possible

High quality care is only being achieved when all three dimensions are present- not just one or two of them.  And when we strive for high quality care, we must do so for everyone, including those we are vulnerable, who live in poverty and who are isolated.  By seeking to deliver high quality care for all, we are striving to reduce inequalities in access to health services and in the outcomes from care.

This definition is very important as it ensures everyone working in the NHS is working towards a common goal, one that is now enshrined in legislation and is the primary focus of NHS England and NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups across the country.