Strategic quality improvement

The King’s Fund was commissioned by Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust to work with their Quality Board to facilitate an assessment of its existing approaches to quality improvement and to develop a strategy for future work.


This case study details the approach and philosophy behind this work, which involved working with the trust’s five directorates to develop their ability to appraise their own approach to quality improvement with a view to improving performance, achieving better clinical outcomes and building further on the trust’s capacity as a learning organisation.

Improving the physical health of patients with serious mental illness

New toolkit for mental health trusts and commissioners | via NHS England

NHS England have produced a practical toolkit for mental health trusts and commissioners, designed to help them improve the physical health of patients with serious mental illness. The toolkit looks at different approaches to implementing the Lester screening tool.

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NHS England has worked with staff and patients in four mental health trusts to improve the cardiovascular (CVD) health outcomes and reduce premature mortality in people with serious mental illness.


CVD is the biggest cause of death in this patient group. The toolkit builds on the findings from this project and shares materials from the four pilot sites that other trusts can build on and adapt for their own use locally.

The project was independently evaluated by the Royal College of Psychiatrists which found that:

  • Inpatients receiving all five recommended CVD screens increased from 46% across all sites at baseline to 83% at follow-up.
  • Interventions delivered to those who needed them as a result of appropriate screening rose from 79% to 94%.

Full document: Improving the physical health of patients with serious mental illness – a practical toolkit



GPs cut antibiotic prescriptions by 2.6m in just one year

NHS Improvement says overall reduction in antibiotic prescriptions of 7.3% in just one year
image source: samantha celera – Flickr//CC BY-ND 2.0

The number of antibiotics being prescribed to patients by GPs in England has fallen significantly according to latest figures.

NHS Improvement say prescriptions for all types of the drug were down by more than 2.6m, compared with last year, to about 34m in 2015-16.

Heralding the drop as a “fantastic result” the health watchdog said the figures showed doctors were being careful not to over-prescribe antibiotics, the BBC reported.

More from  NHS Improvement here

BBC News: GPs praised for ‘dramatic’ cut in antibiotic prescriptions