Letters Assessing quality of hospitals in England

Chief quality officers should be drawn from chartered quality professionals

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f4873 (Published 06 August 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4873
  1. Philip Carroll, senior associate1,
  2. Philip Pearson, consultant respiratory physician2
  1. 1Reflexive Management Associates, Manchester, UK
  2. 2Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth PL6 8DH, UK
  1. ppearson{at}nhs.net

Black’s call for a chief quality officer on the board of each hospital is pertinent.1 However, although enthusiasm for quality of care has increased, we are worried about the lack of expertise available to hospitals in England and the degree to which an understanding of quality in the NHS has fallen behind that in other sectors.

An individual would not be appointed as medical or nursing director without the relevant clinical background, or a finance director be appointed without training in business management and accounting. In the same way, we believe that chief quality officers must have professional training and accreditation in quality management, with a declared interest in academic and applied quality. They should have a thorough understanding of the philosophy, values, methodologies, and techniques of the quality management evidence base to qualify for an executive director role.

The Chartered Quality Institute grants chartered professional membership to people with demonstrated expertise in quality management and is the industry standard for other sectors. We believe that the NHS deserves the industry standard and that chief quality officers should be drawn from workers who are chartered quality professionals.


Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4873



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