The NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA) has today published Delivering for Patients: the 2014/15 Accountability Framework for NHS trust boards, which sets out how the TDA will work alongside trusts to support the delivery of high quality, sustainable services for patients. The Framework sits alongside our planning guidance and covers our approach to measuring and overseeing NHS trusts; to escalation and intervention; to the provision of support for improvement; and to the way we move NHS trusts towards a sustainable future.
The refreshed Framework reflects some of the changes to the health and care system over past year, including the development of the new Chief Inspector of Hospitals regime and the “special measures” process. It also reflects learning from the TDA’s first year supporting NHS trusts and the feedback we have received on our approach. Our approaches to measurement, intervention and support have all been adapted to reflect these changes.
While much of the detail of the Accountability Framework has changed, the core principles that underpin it remain the same:
- To set out in one place all of the key policies and processes which govern the relationship between NHS trusts and the TDA, supporting a single conversation between the TDA and trusts.
- To ensure that the TDA’s approach is closely aligned with partners, particularly regulators and commissioner.
- To maintain a clear focus on quality, which sits at the heart of our oversight and approvals models and is central to our development work.
- To focus on supporting and developing our trusts, and improving culture, leadership and governance.
As we move into 2014/15, the leadership challenge for NHS providers remains significant. Improving quality for patients at a time of growing financial constraint is an increasingly demanding goal for NHS trusts, one which we must take on at a time when the scrutiny applied to the NHS is rightly more intense than ever before. This Accountability Framework sets out how the TDA will work alongside NHS trusts to meet this challenge.