The Department of Health and The NHS Information Centre have today published data showing the performance of clinical teams against a set of more than 200 quality indicators, allowing them to benchmark their work and identify areas in need of improvement.

The indicators are designed to help healthcare professionals keep track of the quality of care they are delivering and root out problem areas more quickly, thereby serving as useful tool for overall service improvement, but the DH has always stressed that they should not be viewed as targets or mandatory indicators for performance management.

The current list of 232 Indicators for Quality Improvement (IQI) - which cover patient safety, effectiveness of care and patient experience - were chosen in conjunction with the Royal Colleges and will be expanded to address a much wider range of topics throughout the health service over the next three to five years.

“This initial list is just the start of a NHS wide resource that will challenge and stimulate NHS staff to drive up the quality of care they deliver to patients,” said Health Minister Lord Ara Darzi, and he underscored the “value of having reliable data which allows clinical teams to assess the quality of the service they provide and to constantly challenge themselves to improve”.

As from today, data for around 75% of the IQIs is available on The NHS Information Centre’s website, and the remainder is set to follow shortly. The public is also being given access to the information, which will be unveiled on the NHS Choices website over the coming year, the DH said.