'Quality Accounts' fail to measure quality, says King's Fund

NHS Quality Accounts, which are due to be introduced into primary care in 2012, must be revised to be of any value, researchers from The King's Fund say.

The think tank says that the first wave of quality reports from NHS organisations and independent sector bodies show 'significant variation in quality and choice of information provided, making them of limited use.'

The King's Fund's report How do Quality Accounts Measure Up? found some quality accounts included more than 100 quantitative indicators, whereas others used only a few.

The requirement to produce quality accounts was supposed to be phased in for primary care by 2011 but the DoH has put back the date by a year for ‘further testing'. Quality accounts will be introduced into primary care and community settings in 2011/12 but not in a mandatory basis.

'Because of the variable quality and content the accounts were failing to provide the public with meaningful information about performance,' the report's authors said.

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