Well-led framework

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) and NHS England have jointly developed and published new well-led guidance for trusts under the Single assessment framework which can be accessed on the CQC website and is applicable to all trusts from April 2024. We are currently reviewing our guidance on developmental reviews and will update this web page in due course.

It continues to be good practice for trusts to regularly review their leadership and governance. Trusts will want to tailor the scope of developmental reviews to align with their current priorities and the new well-led guidance, however the guidance on this page based on the previous Well-led framework still provides relevant information on how to scope, procure and run a developmental review.

This framework out how providers should carry out developmental reviews of their leadership and governance using the well-led framework.

Are services well-led?

As part of our commitment to simplifying our regulatory approaches, we’ve worked closely with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to bring together our respective approaches resulting in a fully joint well-led framework structured around eight key lines of enquiry.

We strongly encourage providers to use the new framework to undertake developmental reviews as part of their own continuous improvement.

Continuous improvement

The new framework maintains focus on strong integrated governance and leadership across quality, finance and operations, and in line with the changing operating environment and Developing People – Improving Care, increases emphasis on organisational culture, improvement and system working.

Our new guidance sets out how providers should carry out developmental reviews of their leadership and governance using the framework as part of their own continuous improvement. It includes information about carrying out self-reviews and commissioning external suppliers to facilitate reviews.

We encourage providers to consider involving peer reviewers as part of their external facilitation team where appropriate to make use of and enhance skills and experience across the NHS.

CQC assessments and the well-led framework

CQC uses the well-led framework to structure their assessments of the well-led question as part their next phase of regulation.

Supporting documents

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