Advancing Quality NHS Advancing Quality Alliance

Quality of health care continues to rise in North West hospitals

The quality of care in North West hospitals is continuing to improve, according to new figures released by Advancing Quality today.

The fourth annual results from the programme show the region’s NHS trusts achieved improvements of more than 30 per cent in key quality measures designed to drive up standards.

The table below shows the scores for each clinical focus area from year one to year four of the programme. These figures represent the North West region as a whole. The trusts are scored by how consistently they deliver the quality of care measures. The percentage increase is the overall improvement in the North West from year one to year four.

AIM* CABG** Heart failure Hip and knee Pneumonia Stroke Dementia FEP***
Year 1 92.52% 96.78% 62.12% 89.54%  76.31%  N/A N/A N/A
Year 2 97.49% 96.94% 69.95% 92.82%  81.54%  N/A N/A N/A
Year 3 97.76% 98.22% 75.45% 94.58%  85.97%  N/A N/A N/A
Year 4 98.26% 98.02% 81.23% 95.56%  84.33% 86.87% 74.55% 87.85%
Actual increase between Y1-Y5 scores +5.74 +1.24 +19.11 +6.02 +8.02 N/A N/A N/A
% increase from Y1-Y5 +6.20% +1.27% +30.76% +6.71% +10.50% N/A N/A N/A

*AMI: Acute Myocardial Infarction i.e. heart attacks **CABG: Coronary Artery Bypass Graft i.e. heart bypass surgery ***FEP: First Episode Psychosis

The figures follow last week’s publication in the New England Journal of Medicine of an independent evaluation by a team of economists and health experts from the Universities of Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham and Cambridge who found there has been a “significant” fall in mortality rates since the introduction of Advancing Quality.

The researchers investigated figures for in-hospital deaths within 30 days of admission for patients with pneumonia, AMI and heart failure 18 months before and after the introduction of Advancing Quality. They conclude that avoidable mortality rates fell by six per cent in the North West, the equivalent of 890 deaths.

The aim of the Advancing Quality programme is to improve clinical quality and outcomes for patients by reducing complications, length of hospital stay, mortality and re-admission rates for patients in regularly performed surgery and treatments for heart attackship and knee replacementspneumoniaheart failure and heart bypass surgery.

Following early success of the programme, it was expanded into the care of stroke patients and patients suffering from dementia and first episode psychosis. The first set of these results have also been published today.

Mark Woodhead, Advancing Quality clinical lead for pneumonia, said:

“For adults with pneumonia, we have seen a clear improvement in the standards of care across the North West over four years of Advancing Quality and I look forward to continue working with all the pneumonia teams across the North West to share best practice and build on these excellent achievements.”

Scot Garg, Advancing Quality clinical lead for AMI, added:

“Advancing Quality is a success thanks to the dedication and commitment of all the teams who work together to share examples of best practice across the region. The results for AMI have improved year-on-year with 98% of our patients receiving the Advancing Quality measures, so we can be proud that the care we provide to patients is of the highest standards.”

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Notes to editors:

  1. For further information on Advancing Quality, see or contact Lindsay Kirby on 0161 206 8438 or
  2. Advancing Quality is the flagship programme of AQuA, an NHS membership body dedicated to helping NHS organisations in the North West provide high quality health care services and improved health. For more information, visit the AQuA website.
  3. The results which have seen the smallest improvements, such as CABG and AMI, can be attributed to the first year of Advancing Quality setting a higher baseline so there has not been as much room for improvement as in focus areas such as heart failure and pneumonia.
  4. Advancing Quality has clinical leads in each focus area to act as sounding boards for their area of expertise and work with colleagues across the region to drive compliance to the measures.

Professor Mark Woodhead is a consultant and honorary senior lecturer in respiratory and general medicine at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Dr Scot Garg is a consultant cardiologist at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.

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