Open and honest care: driving improvements

There is a strong link between high quality healthcare and a high reporting culture. Issues can be identified early and discussed openly in order for lessons to be learnt and improvements made. “Open and Honest Care: Driving Improvement” promotes this by encouraging organisations to publish safety, experience and improvement data (that may be reported singularly in other publications) together in the one report. The overall aim being to improve practice, patient and staff experience and create a culture of safe compassionate care that staff and organisations can be proud of.

November 2012 saw the launch of the National Nursing Strategy: Compassion in Practice and as part of Action Area 3 the Open and Honest Care: Driving Improvement Programme was created. This was the beginning of a culture change when a number of acute Trusts in the North began voluntarily publishing monthly Open and Honest Care reports.

The publication of data from acute trusts in the North is now well established and more recently organisations have begun to publish Community and Maternity data. A Mental Health publication is also in development. Engagement with other regions to adopt the programme is currently underway. In total there are currently 34 organisations regularly publishing Open and Honest Care reports in the North:

Edge Hill University carried out an independent evaluation of the programme in 2014, which demonstrated that the programme forms a highly valued part of the NHS commitment to quality improvement and transparency. Staff from participating Trusts in the North reported overwhelmingly that it facilitated front-line staff to identify areas for improvement, energised and empowered them to act and contributed to a culture of learning across their organisations.

The evaluation recommended that the programme becomes embedded and proactively owned at local level. A new approach has therefore been developed to enable local implementation and sustainability of the programme at Trust and local health community level from May 2015.

A suite of support tools with updated documents has been developed to enable Trusts to participate in the programme autonomously. The suite of tools contains everything required for Trusts to continue participating in the programme and to enable new organisations to join. The support tools are:

Support tools

Word templates to facilitate easy publication

It is important to note that the information in the Open and Honest Care reports cannot be used in isolation to make comparisons about the safety or quality of healthcare at different organisations. Differences in the way that organisations collect data and the patients that they care for, and the services they provide, all mean that direct comparisons are not possible.

For further information about the programme please contact:

Telephone: 0113 825 5397