The NHS outcomes framework 2012-3

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e1080 (Published 17 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1080
  1. David A Cromwell, senior lecturer,
  2. Nicholas Mays, professor of health policy
  1. 1Department of Health Services Research and Policy, London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, London WC1E 7HT, UK
  1. david.cromwell{at}lshtm.ac.uk

The framework continues to develop but its implementation will pose many challenges

The NHS outcomes framework forms a central part of the English NHS reforms. It is planned to be part of the system of accountability between the secretary of state for health and the new NHS Commissioning Board, and it is designed to ensure that local clinical commissioning groups focus on the outcomes achieved for patients rather than the process used to achieve them.1 Clinical commissioning groups will be able to contract with any qualified healthcare provider, a freedom that is expected to deliver innovation and increase productivity,2 but the care delivered to patients should also be consistent with a high quality evidence based service described in the quality standards.3

The Commissioning Board will be expected to achieve improvements on the indicators in the framework.1 The required level of improvement will reflect the cost effectiveness of potential actions and inequalities in outcomes between disadvantaged groups and areas. To reduce the risk of the Commissioning Board focusing on a narrow set of priorities, the framework covers a broad array of NHS activity. This has stimulated a substantial amount of work aimed at producing a robust set of outcome indicators, and refinements to …

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