Quality Accounts: list and further information

HQIP contact: Helen Baron


  • 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 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 NHS Standard Contract (‘SC26 Clinical Networks, National Audit Programmes and Approved Research Studies’ specifically 26.1.2 and sub bullets / /’) sets out the requirement to participate in:

  • any national programme within the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP);
  • any other national clinical audit or clinical outcome review programme managed or commissioned by HQIP; and
  • any national programme included within the NHS England Quality Accounts List for the relevant Contract Year.

The NHS Standard Contract also 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.

See weblink here:  03-full-length-standard-contract-22-23-service-conditions.pdf (england.nhs.uk)

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, 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.  Trusts should plan participation and report all the relevant individual work streams listed underneath a national programme on the Quality Accounts List.

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 2023-24 (amended February 2023)

NHS England Quality Accounts List 2022-23 (amended November 2022)

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.

NHS England Quality Accounts List inclusion criteria

NHS England agreed the following criteria for 2024-25, which informs the national programmes included on the Quality Accounts List:

  1. Coverage: collects data from at least 70% of eligible services nationally.
  2. Collects data on individual patients.
  3. Publishes comparisons of providers (for example; at trust, hospital, or network level).
  4. Plans to recruit patients during the forthcoming financial year.
  5. Reports comparing providers’ performance published within 12 months of completion of the most recent clinical event included in the report.
  6. Outcomes and processes of care are audited against standards, guidelines, or evidence (for example, NICE Quality Standards and Guidelines)

NHS Wales National Clinical Audit & Outcome Review Annual Plan

The National Clinical Audits and Clinical Outcome Review Programmes in which all Welsh health boards and trusts must participate (where services are provided) are outlined in the annual plan document linked below.

NHS Wales national clinical audit and outcome review plan annual rolling programme for 2022 to 2023 (dated June 2022)

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.