National Quality Board

In October 2014, the Five Year Forward View, made a commitment to ‘re-energise’ the National Quality Board (NQB):

Recognising the ultimate responsibilities of individual NHS boards for the quality and safety of the care being provided by their organisation, there is however also value in a forum where the key NHS oversight organisations can come together regionally and nationally to share intelligence, agree action and monitor overall assurance on quality. The National Quality Board provides such a forum, and we intend to reenergise it under the leadership of the senior clinicians (chief medical and nursing officers / medical and nursing directors / chief inspectors / heads of profession) of each of the national NHS leadership bodies alongside CCG leaders, providers, regulators and patient and lay representatives.

Therefore in 2015, after a 12 month hiatus, the NQB was re-established, with a new clinical and professional focused leadership and membership.


The NQB’s membership is composed of the partner organisations who developed the Five Year Forward View (NHSE, CQC, NHSI, HEE and PHE), together with NICE and NHSD, and the DH as overall ‘system steward’.

Agendas, minutes and papers


National guidance on learning from deaths

Following the recent findings of the Care Quality Commission report Learning, candour and accountability: A review of the way NHS trusts review and investigate the deaths of patients in England, the National Quality Board (NQB) has published the first edition of National Guidance on Learning from Deaths for Trusts.

The purpose of the guidance is to help standardise and improve the way acute, mental health and community Trusts identify, report, review, investigate and learn from deaths, and engage with bereaved families and carers in this process.

Also published with the guidance is a suggested dashboard which provides a format for data publication by Trusts.

Shared commitment to quality

The National Quality Board (NQB) has published a new framework that will promote improved quality criteria across all national health organisations for the first time. The new publication provides a nationally agreed definition of quality and guide for clinical and managerial leaders wanting to improve quality.  The approach has been agreed across NHS and social care organisations to provide more consistency and to enable the system to work together more effectively.

Right staff, with the right skills, in the right place at the right time

In July 2016, the National Quality Board (NQB) published “Supporting NHS providers to deliver the right staff, with the right skills, in the right place at the right time: Safe, sustainable and productive staffing”. This safe staffing improvement resource provides an updated set of expectations for nursing and midwifery care staffing, to help NHS provider boards make local decisions that will support the delivery of high quality care for patients within the available staffing resource. This resource:

  • sets out the key principles and tools that provider boards should use to measure and improve their use of staffing resources to ensure safe, sustainable and productive service, including introducing the care hours per patient day (CHPPD) metric;
  • identifies three updated NQB expectations that form a ‘triangulated’ approach (‘Right Staff, Right Skills, Right Place and Time’) to staffing decisions; and
  • offers guidance for local providers on using other measures of quality, alongside CHPPD, to understand how staff capacity may affect the quality of care.

This safe staffing improvement resource replaces the 2013 NQB guidance “How to ensure the right people, with the right skills, are in the right place at the right time: A guide to nursing, midwifery and care staffing capacity and capability.

Improving experiences of care: Our shared understanding and ambition

Having a good experience of your care, treatment and support is an essential part of an excellent health and social care service. The National Quality Board (NQB), with support from other partners, has published Improving experiences of care: Our shared understanding and ambition, which sets out a common way for the national health and care organisations on the NQB to talk about people’s experiences of care and their roles in improving them.

The document includes our shared ambition for improving people’s experiences of care, and also includes examples of good practice and resources, to support organisations and individuals in improving experiences of care.

Improving experiences of care: Our shared understanding and ambition is for all individuals and organisations within, or with an interest in, the health system. It also aims to provide people who use services with an understanding of what they can expect from their experiences of care.

How to organise and run a risk summit (second edition)

In June 2012, the National Quality Board published ‘How to organise and run a Risk Summit: 2012 /13′, designed to provide guidance on the organisation and running of a Risk Summit when there were concerns about the quality of care being provided for patients.

Structures in the NHS have changed significantly as a result of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. The National Quality Board has revised the guidance to reflect these changes. How to Organise and Run a Risk Summit’ (second edition), provides practical advice and guidance about the organisation and running of a Risk Summit in the context of the new NHS architecture.

This guide is intended for NHS organisations and associated supervisory and regulatory bodies. It sets out:

  • potential triggers for calling a Risk Summit;
  • the roles and responsibilities of the different parts of the system;
  • governance arrangements; and
  • practical advice on preparing for and conducting a Risk Summit.

Revised guidance for QSGs – ‘How to run an effective QSG’

Since April 2013, a network of Quality Surveillance Groups (QSGs) has been established at a local and regional level across the country.  QSGs regularly bring together organisations from across the health economy to share information and intelligence on the quality of care being provided to their communities.

To support QSGs to be as effective as possible in fulfilling their role and potential, a review has been undertaken by the National Quality Board along with all organisations represented on the QSGs. This has resulted in the publication of revised guidance for QSGs, ‘How to run an effective QSG’.

Human factors in healthcare: a concordat from the National Quality Board

As set out in the response to the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry, the National Quality Board (NQB) has published a ‘Human Factors in Healthcare Concordat’ signed by its member organisations and other partners.  The Concordat demonstrates the NQB’s commitment on behalf of the health system, to embedding a recognition and understanding of Human Factors across the NHS and in their activities, reflecting the value it can offer in respect of improving the quality and productivity of services to patients.

Much of the activity to embed Human Factors in healthcare sits with frontline providers and the NQB commits to working with NHS organisations, clinicians and NHS staff to understand their current capabilities and establish their requirements.  This will inform the development of a programme of tailored support that enables NHS organisations to maximise the potential that Human Factors practices and principles can offer in relation to patient safety and experience, efficiency and clinical effectiveness.  NHS England and Health Education England will lead the work to support the NHS in taking forward this important aspect of the patient safety agenda, working with other partners across the system.                                                                                                                                        

National Data Quality Review

The National Data Quality Review has been produced by the Quality Information Committee (QIC) for the NQB.  This report:

  • provides the first comprehensive collection and review of the work that is current and at national level which deals with data quality in the health and social care in England;
  • includes a set of recommended actions to strengthen the ability of the system to improve data quality;
  • identifies and shares examples of best practice in improving data quality.

Read the executive summary of the National Data Quality Review.  A copy of the full report can be obtained from