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Quality improvement tool

The multi-professional quality improvement tool (QIT) was developed in Kent, Surrey and Sussex in response to requests for a simpler, more robust process for contract review.

It has replaced the previous contract review and education commissioning for quality (ECQ) processes.

It uses the six Standards for Assuring Quality in Practice Placements developed in south London, with the addition of a standard on patient safety. There is a set of indicators for each standard, together with criteria for meeting these indicators. The standards are as follows:

  • Patient safety
  • The organisational culture in supporting practice education
  • Executive ownership of practice education
  • Staff in place to effectively support practice education
  • Physical support for practice education
  • Standards of service
  • Partnership working

Providers are asked to self-assess against the standards and identify an appropriate level of concern* for each indicator, based on their assessment of their current performance and the evidence they are able to provide. The levels of concern are as follows:

0 = No concern.

1 = No concern as area is already being addressed, but improvement is advised.

2 = Slight concern, improvement required before next review.

3 = Concern to be addressed – mandatory.

4 = Serious concern, to be addressed immediately (concerns at this level are rare).

Providers will be asked to describe the actions they plan to take to address issues as required. The quality managers will review the QITs, and meet with providers, usually three times a year, to discuss the evidence and agree levels of concern and action plans.

The data provided via the QIT are triangulated with other sources of qualitative data such as visit reports, and with quantitative data provided by surveys and questionnaires. The quality managers provide regular reports to the Kent, Surrey and Sussex management committee. These are used to help inform quality improvement activities.