Past NQB publications

On this page you will find information on past NQB publications and activities.

Quality Surveillance Groups – National Guidance, Third edition, July 2017

Quality Surveillance Groups (QSGs) bring together different parts of the health and care system, to share intelligence about risks to quality. The NQB’s Shared Commitment to Quality sets out seven steps to maintain and improve quality. QSGs are an important element of step 5 – maintaining and safeguarding quality- and this document provides practical advice and guidance about how to run an effective QSG.

Risk Summits – National Guidance, Third edition, July 2017

Risk Summits provide a mechanism to bring the health and care system together very quickly when a serious, specific concern about the quality of care has been raised. Like Quality Surveillance Groups (see above), they are an important tool within the wider quality framework set out in the NQB’s Shared Commitment to Quality. They should only be called very occasionally. This document provides practical advice and guidance about how to run an effective Risk Summit.

National guidance on learning from deaths

Following the 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 NQB 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.

National Guidance for ambulance trusts on learning from deaths

The national guidance for ambulance trusts on learning from deaths is to help NHS ambulance trusts in England to improve the way they review and learn from the deaths of patients who had been under their care. It sets out a standard framework for ambulance trusts to use to develop and implement local learning from deaths policies.

National guidance for NHS Trusts engaging with bereaved families

NHS England worked with families, carers, professionals and a range of other stakeholders to develop new guidance for NHS trusts on how to engage with families and carers whose loved one has died.

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 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 NQB, with support from other partners, 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. 

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 NQB 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. 

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