Advancing Quality NHS Advancing Quality Alliance

Y5 results publicly reported – and quality of care continues to improve

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

The Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA), the North West’s health care quality organisation, has published the annual results from its Advancing Quality programme which show the region’s NHS trusts achieved improvements of more than 30 per cent in key quality measures designed to drive up standards.

This equates to an estimated 17,000 lives and 76,000 bed days saved over the last five years across the region.

The table below shows the scores for each clinical focus area from year 1 to year 5 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 1 to year 5.

AMI* CABG** Heart failure Hip and knee Pneumonia Stroke Dementia FEP***
Year 1 92.52% 96.78% 62.12% 89.55%  76.32%  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% 75.46% 94.58%  85.97%  N/A N/A N/A
Year 4 98.29% 97.88% 80.64% 95.91%  85.01% 87.03% 77.09% 89.30%
Year 5 98.50% 96.59% 82.06% 96.75%  87.92% 90.83% 84.95% 94.52%
Actual increase between Y1-Y5 scores +5.98 -0.19 +19.94 +7.2  +11.6 +3.8 +7.86 +5.22
% increase from Y1-Y5 +6.47% -0.20% +32.08% +8.04%  +15.21% +4.37% +10.19% +5.84%

The aim of Advancing Quality is to improve quality of care in hospitals by reducing complications, length of hospital stay, mortality and re-admission rates for patients in regularly performed surgery and treatments for heart attacks, hip and knee replacement surgery, pneumonia, heart failure and heart bypass surgery.

Following early success of the programme, it expanded into the care of stroke patients and patients suffering from dementia and first episode psychosis (FEP).

Medical Director for NHS England, Greater Manchester, Dr Raj Patel, said: “We all welcome these new figures which clearly show how quality improvement programmes can make a big impact. It’s not an academic exercise, AQuA saves lives.”

Advancing Quality launched in 2008 and is live in all NHS acute and mental health provider trusts across the North West of England. The programme is based on a set of quality standards which clinicians agree define and measure good clinical practice and should be delivered to every patient to ensure they receive the highest standard of care. Hospitals collect and submit data on these quality standards, which range from recording that the right antibiotics are given at the right time through to patients receiving written discharge instructions on how to prevent relapses.

Each trust has an Advancing Quality team who work locally to drive improvements. AQuA hosts Advancing Quality shared learning events throughout the year to give the teams the opportunity to come together to share examples of best practice and learn about the latest developments in the programme and the focus areas.

The results are publicly reported once a year on the Advancing Quality website, so patients can see how well their local trust is performing. The results published today [28.11.13] are from the fifth year of the programme, April 2012 to March 2013.

A team of economists and health experts led by the University of Manchester have been independently evaluating the programme associating 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 6% in the North West, the equivalent of 890 deaths with additional research associating AQ with 23,000 fewer bed days, equating to savings of £4.4 million. Using the same calculation method, AQuA has been able to extrapolate those figures to estimate the impact over the last five years.

David Fillingham, Chief Executive of AQuA, said:

“To see the Advancing Quality results improve year-on-year is really encouraging and is testament to the dedication and commitment of clinical teams and NHS staff across the region. There is still work to do, nothing is a ‘quick fix’ but the fact that we are now able to see the impact AQ is having on mortality rates, length of stay and financial savings far exceeds even the most ambitious expectations we held for the programme and further demonstrates AQ’s value as a method for commissioning for outcomes.”

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