How we hold providers to account

North Central London CCG regularly reviews and monitors our local NHS Trusts’ performance around patient experience through monthly Clinical Quality Review Group meetings. Our Clinical Quality Review Groups include patient representatives to make sure the patient voice is heard when we assess the quality of the services we commission.

We use these meetings to monitor and assess patient experience by reviewing complaints, Friends and Family Test responses, comments on NHS Choices and national patient survey results. We also review any action plans that the Trusts have put in place to address areas of poor performance or poor experience.

Sometimes the CCG will conduct insight visits if we get an indication that a service is not performing to the standard that it should be. Patient representatives are invited to carry out these visits with us and are involved in making recommendations to providers on how services can improve. Re-visits are usually undertaken around 12 months after the initial service visit to make sure the recommendations that were made have been embedded into routine practice. Insight visits can also be carried out by Healthwatch. These visits are called Enter and View visits.

We review and respond to complaints received by the CCG, MP enquiries on behalf of local residents, and any quality alerts raised by GPs about other local providers, as part of the CCG’s Insight and Learning Programme.

Where trends or serious risks are identified as a result of a patient concern, additional meetings are held with the provider in order to flag the issues and request remedial actions. Quarterly reports on complaints, GP Alerts and Insight Visits are regularly presented at the CCG’s Quality & Performance Committee which has a lay member and Healthwatch representative.

Our commissioners hold regular contract monitoring meetings with our providers to ensure they are fulfilling their contractual obligations of delivering high quality health services to local people. Some of these contract meetings, such as those that are part of our ‘Out of Hours’ GP service contract, can also include patient representatives.  

Quality accounts

One way we support our Trusts to address concerns raised through our work with local people (whether this is through patient experience, engagement or complaints) is through the development of their Quality Accounts.

The Quality Accounts include priorities for the coming year which are our key areas for improvement. These are selected following the analysis of information from patient experience, engagement, complaints, any incidents which occurred during the year and consultations with patient representatives, shadow governors, GPs, the Trusts’ staff and the CCG.