Guidance for NHS trusts and foundation trusts: assessing the well-led key question

Page last updated: 8 April 2024


Good leadership has a significant impact on staff morale and patient experiences of care.

This guidance describes how we assess the well-led key question. It helps NHS trusts and foundation trusts understand what good leadership looks like.

Good leadership enables better care for patients, and a more sustainable health and care service.

The guidance has been jointly developed by CQC and NHS England. It incorporates key developments in health and care policy and best practice. It includes expectations around system working, freedom to speak up and continuous improvement.

This guidance, alongside the Single Assessment Framework, replaces the previous inspection framework for NHS trusts and foundation trusts.