Contract service

The NHS Standard Contract contains a number of levers to hold the provider to account for providing high quality services. This should be drawn up when the business case is agreed in order to initiate the procurement process to appoint a provider for the service. This can include;

  • The service specification: this sets out the standards and outcomes required from the service.
  • Information schedule: This sets out quality requirements and key performance indicators (KPIs)/ performance measures which enable measurement of quality so that the performance of the service and progress can be measured. Data is collected to highlight where standards are not being met.


From Camden CCG:

“Performance measures specific to the new service can sit within the Information Schedule of the national contract template. When setting KPIs we looked at our expected patient outcomes for the service (e.g. Improved patient experience for patients with epilepsy) and what process measures (e.g. reduction in unplanned admissions) we needed to achieve too. We then looked at what additional things we could measure from what was recorded as part of the clinical consultation (e.g. smoking status) and any other indicators that demonstrated key aspects of the service delivery (e.g. number of referrals received).

Sometimes data which you would like to measure may not be currently recorded or collected. In these cases audits may give you a better picture of what is needed and allow you to measure or collect what might be needed. It is important to specify on the Information Schedule where the source of the information is, how it is to be collected and the frequency of collection.
This exercise also allowed us to identify any gaps and which areas to focus on to measure the progress of the service to begin with. Our KPIs included;

Process measures linked to outcomes:

Service delivery: 

To start collecting outcomes data for reporting, we developed baseline data  using ICD10 codes G40 and G41. This gave us an average so that we could baseline last year’s activity per month against the number of unplanned admissions reported in the current year when the new service has started.”

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