The Department of Health’s updated NHS Outcomes Framework 2013 to 2014 defines the outcomes expected, and the corresponding indicators which will be used to hold the NHS Commissioning Board to account, for improvements in health as part of the government’s mandate to the NHS Commissioning Board.
The latest version of the framework contains measures for the health and care system to focus upon when measuring outcomes. This document explains how the NHS Outcomes Framework is expected to operate, and highlights the indicator changes since last year’s December 2011 edition. A few points of special interest (selected almost at random):
The placeholder indicator “Enhancing the quality of life for people with dementia” has been updated and extended. As per the NHS Mandate, the Government’s goal is for the UK to be among the best countries in Europe for ensuring that people with dementia receive a timely diagnosis and the best available treatment and care, including support for carers.
The Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge has invigorated efforts to improve diagnosis rates, research and the creation of dementia friendly communities. Accordingly, the 2013/14 framework includes the two-part indicator, which measures diagnosis rate for people with dementia (there being evidence that receiving early diagnosis is important for people living with dementia, enabling them to cope better with their condition). A second complementary measure i.e. concerning the effectiveness of post-diagnosis care in sustaining independence and improving quality of life, is being developed. This indicator appears in the Adult Social Care Outcomes Framework too.
There is stronger emphasis on mental health. There is a new measure relating to psychological therapies, ensuring the framework takes into account recovery from common mental health problems (depression and anxiety) as well the treatment of more severe mental illness. This new indicator measures the response to depression and anxiety disorders, through delivery of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme. The Government wants more “parity of esteem” for mental and physical health.
Integrated Experience of Care
There is a new placeholder indicator Improving people’s experience of integrated care to try to reduce patients’ experience of gaps in service provision, failures in communication, and poor transitions between services.
Patient safety culture across the NHS is deemed more important. There is a new placeholder indicator to measure Hospital deaths attributable to problems in care to provide a robust baseline and methodology for assessing national mortality attributable to problems in care.
Department of Health (2012). The NHS Outcomes Framework 2013-14. London: Department of Health (Quality and Outcomes Policy), November 13th 2012. Gateway Reference No. 18347.
Mental Map Poster: the NHS Outcomes Framework 2013/14 Mind Map (NHS Confederation)
The NHS Confederation has produced a “mental map”, which summarises on a one page “poster” all of the indicators against the five domains in the NHS Outcomes Framework 2013/14. This cognitive map highlights the new additions for the 2013/14 framework in addition to the main framework of indicators:
- Items highlighted in Yellow are new additions for the 2013/14 framework.
- Items highlighted in Blue are overarching indicators.
- All non-highlighted items are improvement areas.
NHS Confederation (2012). Mental map of the NHS outcomes framework 2013/14. Outcomes A2 poster. London: NHS Confederation, November 2012.
[A brief reference to this item features in Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWNHST), Volume 3 Issue 5, January 2013].