Test 4: The NHS will reduce unjustified variation in performance
6.19. Chapters Two, Three and Six of this Long Term Plan describe in detail how this is being done. As set out elsewhere in this Plan, we will radically improve transparency including through the Model Hospital work. We will reduce unwarranted variation across the NHS, improve providers’ operational and financial performance as well as clinical practice. Wherever possible, individual programmes have been designed to narrow variation in health outcomes and reduce inequalities. For example, the modernisation of the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme will improve participation rates in previously marginalised populations. The expansion of lung health checks is similarly aimed at populations at higher risk of lung cancer and respiratory disease. Our clinically-led national GIRFT programme generates comparative information that facilitates the identification of best practice, supported by tools such as the Model Hospital. The NHS RightCare programmes take an evidence-based approach to assist in the design of optimum pathways of care. By investing in Quality Improvement (QI), we will ensure our staff have the skills and methodology to simultaneously improve care and reduce costs. Reducing unwarranted variation will be a core responsibility of Integrated care systems (ICSs). We expect all ICSs, supported by our national programmes, to bring together clinicians and managers to implement appropriately standardised evidence-based pathways.