Financial performance and quality must work together

Published: 15 January 2016 Page last updated: 12 May 2022

CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards and the Chief Executive of NHS Improvement, Jim Mackey have written to all 255 NHS hospital trusts in England to ask them to consider quality and finances on equal footing in their planning decisions.

NHS providers have been under great pressure over recent years to make quality improvements within the resources available. Together with NHS Improvement, we recognise that there has been a perception that NHS trusts could only achieve their financial targets at the expense of quality, or that improving quality was more important than staying in financial surplus.

The joint letter asks that financial performance and quality must work together, and be considered as combined and equal priorities. It recognises the role that CQC and NHS Improvement have in enabling trusts to deliver the right finance / quality balance.

The joint letter comes as we continue to develop our approach to assessing how NHS trusts use their resources following the Secretary of State’s request last summer, working closely with NHS Improvement. The approach will go out to public consultation as part of CQC’s future strategy later this year.