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Second study attributes Advancing Quality to £105 million in health gains for North West England

Researchers evaluating the impact of Advancing Quality on health care in the North West have had a second paper published online in Health Economics.

The paper, The cost-effectiveness of using financial incentives to improve provider quality: a framework and application (Health Econ. (2013)DOI: 10.1002/hec), follows on from the publication in the New England Journal of Medicine last year which estimated Advancing Quality to have reduced the number of deaths by 890. Read more here

Researchers led by a team at the University of Manchester looked at the number of patients who had a heart attack, heart failure or pneumonia in the North West of England during the first 18 months of Advancing Quality (Oct 2008 – Mar 2010). They reviewed how many died within 30 days of hospital admission, how many had an emergency readmission within 30 days and how long they stayed in hospital. They then compared these figures to 18 months before Advancing Quality was introduced and also compared them to patients admitted with the same conditions but treated at hospitals outside the North West.

They concluded, in the first 18 months, Advancing Quality:

  • Generated 5,227 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), equal to health gains of £105m for the region
    QALYs are how many extra months/years of life of reasonable quality a person might gain as a result of treatment. NICE guidance equates one QALY to £20,000
  • Reduced length of stay in hospital by 22.802 bed days
  • Generated £4.4m in savings due to the reduction in length of stay

This in turn represents a greater than eight-fold return on investment.

Lesley Kitchen, Advancing Quality Programme Director, said:

“This is another fantastic piece of news for every North West England NHS trust who participate in and commission Advancing Quality. We are now five years into the programme and it continues to go from strength-to-strength. One of our key motivations is the fact that is is independently evaluated proving to patients, families and the wider health economy that healthcare in the North West is continuing to improve year-on-year.”

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