ROAN information sheet 13: Governance in the New NHS: Facilitating Quality

Key Message: Those leading and working within a new service, including doctors, are responsible for ensuring quality and the safety of patients. Fulfilling this duty will underpin the success of the new service.

As the Five Year Forward View and the Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships make progress, healthcare workers, including doctors, will explore new ways of working. For example a doctor might split their time between their familiar work and new services in an Accountable Care Organisation. This will mean working within a new team of health, social and other professional colleagues, in ways that cross professional, geographical, contractual and regulatory boundaries.

Those leading a new service and those working within it have responsibilities:

  • Commissioners must ensure that effective clinical governance processes are included in the specification and monitored accordingly, with clear accountability.
  • Providers must support quality and safety by designing effective clinical governance into the service. This will include:
    • Verification of the identity of those working in the service.
    • Ensuring that staff, including doctors, are capable and qualified to do the work.
    • Monitoring quality of practice and supporting improvements (including obtaining feedback from patients and those delivering the service).
    • Responding to concerns about practice.
    • Sharing information with other agencies including responsible officers
  • Those working in the new service, including doctors, have a professional duty to show they have the skills to do the work they are taking on, and to cooperate with clinical governance processes. Doctors are expected to include and reflect on this at their medical appraisal.

Embracing these responsibilities is not only a matter of professional duty but a vital way to secure and demonstrate clinical quality in the new service, and ensure that it succeeds in its prime aim of providing high quality, safe care for patients.

Useful links

This information sheet is relevant to all designated bodies in England.

Released March 2018