Quality Accounts: list and further information

04-05-2021 NHS Healthcare leaders update: A note from Amanda Pritchard, NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Chief Operating Officer, and NHS Improvement’s Chief Executive

Quality Accounts requirements:
DHSC has confirmed that the deadline to publish 2020/21 Quality Accounts remains Wednesday 30 June 2021. Where activities envisaged by the quality accounts regulations did not take place, owing to the exceptional challenges of 2020/21, trusts can disclose this was the case and their plans to reinstate them.  Providers should continue to publish their Quality Accounts online. The functionality to upload accounts onto the NHS website is no longer available. As an interim measure, trusts should also send reports to [email protected] to be uploaded to their individual pages on the NHS England and NHS Improvement website.

HQIP contact: Lorna Pridmore


  • About Quality Accounts
  • Summary Quality Accounts reporting requirements
  • HQIP guidance for NHS healthcare service providers
  • NHS England Quality Accounts List
  • Annual Scoping Survey for the NHS England Quality Accounts List
  • NHS England Quality Accounts List inclusion criteria
  • NHS Wales National Clinical Audit and Outcome Review Plan
  • The Directory resource for Trusts

About Quality Accounts

A Quality Account is a written report, which NHS healthcare service providers are required to publish on the NHS website each year, summarising the quality of their services during the previous financial year. Publication fulfils providers obligation to submit the report to the Secretary of State. One of the elements included in the Quality Account relates to clinical audit.

The Quality Account requires details of the trust’s clinical audit participation for each of the national audits, enquiries and quality improvement programmes they participate in, along with information related to improvements responding to clinical audit report recommendations.

This page houses the annual NHS England Quality Accounts List, and a link to HQIP’s The Directory. It also provides further information and guidance to NHS Healthcare service providers around Quality Accounts.

Summary of Quality Accounts reporting requirements

The Quality Accounts legislation does not impose a requirement on NHS healthcare providers to participate in specific NCAs, enquiries and other national quality improvement programmes. The requirement is to report in the Quality Account on whether or not they have participated in them.

Information about the Quality Account is published here:  https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/about-the-nhs/quality-accounts/about-quality-accounts/

The requirement to participate in the HQIP commissioned National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcome Programme (NCAPOP) projects stems from the NHS Standard Contract, which gives commissioners the power to require remedial action of NHS healthcare providers who fail to participate, with scope for withholding funding in the event of sustained non-compliance.

Information about the NHS Standard Contract relating to the Quality Account List is published here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/3-FL-SCs-2122.pdf

Of particular relevance is ‘SC26 Clinical Networks, National Audit Programmes and Approved Research Studies’ specifically 26.1.2 and sub bullets / /’

HQIP guidance for NHS healthcare service providers

Each NHS healthcare service provider must allocate appropriate resource to:

  1. Check the relevance of all known NCAs, enquires and national quality improvement programmes to their services
  2. Register with applicable NCAs, enquiries and national quality improvement programmes
  3. Collect and validate data
  4. Review annual NCA, enquiry and national quality improvement reports produced during the previous financial year
  5. Agree and implement action plans to improve the quality of their services based on the reports reviewed
  6. Monitor progress against action plans
  7. Compile and publish a Quality Account

NHS England Quality Account List

The NHS England Quality Accounts List supports the Quality Accounts written report that Trusts must publish each year on the NHS website, which includes information regarding national clinical audit participation.  It is made available each year, comprising national audits, clinical outcome review programmes and other quality improvement projects that NHS England advises Trusts to prioritise for participation during the forthcoming financial year.

The Quality Accounts List should be reviewed in conjunction with the NHS Quality Accounts guidance available here.

Participation in NCAPOP and data entry should not impact on front line clinical covid care, the care of patients with covid should take priority during the pandemic.  Click here for further information

NHS England Quality Accounts List 2021-22 (amended February 2021)

NHS England Quality Accounts List 2020-21 (dated January 2020)

Annual Scoping Survey for the NHS England Quality Accounts List

NHS healthcare service providers use the Quality Accounts List to plan which national projects they will participate in during the following financial year. Inclusion in the Quality Accounts List can, lead to increased participation by healthcare providers in national clinical audit and quality improvement programmes.

The NHS England Quality Accounts List is scoped each year and the process is communicated via the HQIP eBulletin and directly to provider organisations listed on HQIP’s The Directory. Programmes commissioned by HQIP, as part of the NCAPOP, do not need to complete a scoping survey.

All scoped Non-NCAPOP national programmes, regardless of whether they are included on the NHS England Quality Accounts List are listed in the HQIP ‘s The Directory resource for healthcare providers. See below for further information.

NHS England Quality Accounts List inclusion criteria

NHS England agreed the following criteria for 2021/22, which informs the national programmes included on the Quality Accounts List:

  1. Coverage: collects data from at least 70% of eligible services nationally
  2. Data: collected on individual patients
  3. Comparisons of providers (trusts, hospitals, networks)
  4. Plan to recruit patients during the following financial year
  5. Public reporting: comparing providers’ performance published within 12 months of completion of the most recent clinical event (excluding events outside of the project’s control)
  6. Outcomes and processes of care being audited must be based on rigorous evidence (including NICE Quality Standards and Guidelines)

NHS Wales National Clinical Audit and Outcome Review Plan

NHS Wales publishes its annual National Clinical Audit and Outcome Review Plan to outline the National Clinical Audits and Outcome Reviews which all health boards and trusts are expected to participate in. The Plan also confirms how the findings from audits and reviews will be used to measure and drive forward improvements in the quality and safety of healthcare services in Wales.

The 2019-20 annual plan linked here will be maintained throughout the 2020-21 period:

The NHS Wales National Clinical Audit and Outcome Review Plan 2019-20 (dated 8 May 2019)

The Directory

HQIP maintains The Directory to provide high level information on the National Clinical Audits, enquiries, registries and other national quality improvement programmes. The Directory is a useful tool in assisting healthcare service providers with planning their audit activity each year. Further information is available here.