In what was described by Lord Ara Darzi as a “landmark day” in the history of the National Health Service, the government launched a series of new measures yesterday to help boost the quality of service standards and patient care.

The measures are designed to help bring to life Lord Darzi's vision, as described in his review of the NHS, High Quality Care for All, that quality should be “at the centre of everything the NHS does”, according to the Department of Health.

Aside from the birth of the new health and social care regulator the Care Quality Commission, which took over from the Healthcare Commission on April 1, a new performance framework has been established to set minimum standards of quality, safety and financial management and address underperformance in hospitals and primary care trusts.

Another key policy is that of patient reported outcomes measures, under which patient feedback on certain operations – such as hip or knee replacements and groin hernias – will be collected from this month to help keep a check on service quality and shape future improvements. The programme is the first of its kind in the world, and the information collected will "empower patients to choose a hospital that achieves the best results for the operation they need", according to Darzi.

And importantly, the government has put in place a new, simpler complaints system to increase accountability and encourage a culture within the NHS that “seeks and then acts on patient feedback” to help better services. As of March 31, the old three-tiered complaints structure was replaced by a two-tiered process, under which unresolved complaints will now be directed straight to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman instead of passing through a healthcare regulator.

Commenting on the new measures, Lord Darzi said: “Listening to patients' concerns and their views on the success of their treatment, as well as measuring and rewarding quality across the NHS, will help improve services and assist staff and patients to make better informed choices about their care".