‘quality is everything’
Colin Davies & Tricia Ellis
UHMLG Spring Forum 10th
Framework for Quality
What is the aim of the National
Service Framework for Quality
• The underpinning aim is to put knowledge to work, to
transform patient care and public health. This will be
achieved by a quality led review of current service provision,
followed by the redesign and development of library services
to form a modern library/knowledge service.
• To ensure that NHS library/knowledge services maintain and
continuously control their ‘service offer’ requires a robust
quality improvement programme.
• The National Service Framework for Quality Improvement is
the mechanism for quality assurance, quality management
and quality control for all library services.
The National Service Framework for Quality Improvement
1. A quality assurance tool for health library/knowledge
2. An infrastructure through which to deliver the outcomes
defined in the Framework.
3. National standards, which define the core services on
4. Developmental standards to ensure the provision of a
quality service which is delivered consistently to a
uniformly high standard across the country.
The Framework is aligned to national policy and aims to
complement other quality initiatives
The criteria statements are referenced to legislation,
statutory guidance, Department of Health guidance and
other required assessments. The references will help
library/knowledge service staff to understand where the
statements have come from.
The key assessment frameworks referenced include:
– ISO 9001:2000 International standard for quality
– Improving Working Lives Accreditation
– Standards for Better Health
– NHS Litigation Authority
The National Service Framework
for Quality Improvement
• Provides the systematic quality improvement of library
services, ensuring alignment of the library to the needs of
their parent organisation and expectations of their customer.
• Describes the quality outcomes required for library services,
whilst the standards quality assure and performance monitor
Access to knowledge
service & knowledge
The Creation of the National
Service Framework for Quality
• 2006 - The creation of the National Service Framework for
NHS Funded Library Services in England.
• 2007 – The creation of a quality assurance tool and a set of
standards supported by Health Accreditation Quality Unit
• Five organisations have piloted the tool and Standards
• The SHA leads and NLH Board have agreed that compliance
to standards will be a national key performance indicator.
• During 2008, workshops will take place to support library
managers preparing for assessment and formal training of
surveyors will commence.
• Visits will begin in early Spring 2009 by peer review teams to
assess compliance to the Standards.
Managing Services, Knowledge, Risk and Information
– Domain 1.1 Strategy
– Domain 1.2 Policy
– Domain 1.3 Operational Management
– Domain 1.4 Performance Monitoring
– Domain 1.5 Corporate Risk
– Domain 1.6 Information Governance
include 5 Domains:
Domain 2 Commissioning, Finance, Contracts and Partners
– Domain 2.1 Commissioning
– Domain 2.2 Finance and Budgets
– Domain 2.3 Service Level Agreements and Contracts
– Domain 2.3 Partnership Working
Domain 3 Human Resources and Staff Management
– Domain 3.1 HR Strategy
– Domain 3.2 Staff Structure
– Domain 3.3 HR Policies
– Domain 3.4 Recruitment
– Domain 3.5 Orientation and induction
– Domain 3.6 Job Descriptions
– Domain 3.7 European Working Directive
– Domain 3.8 Skill Mix
– Domain 3.9 Appraisal
– Domain 3.10 Training and Development
– Domain 3.11 Staff Communication
– Domain 3.12 Staff Involvement
Domain 4 Infrastructure, Facilities and Safety
– Domain 4.1 Information Technology
– Domain 4.2 Facilities and Equipment Management
– Domain 4.3 Environmental Management
– Domain 4.4 Work Space
– Domain 4.5 Health and Safety
Weighting of the criteria
To assist with prioritisation of the work, each criterion is weighted
according to the following definitions:
E Weighted criteria (Essential) relate to the alignment with National
Library for Health strategy and good management practice that are
essential and must be met in order to achieve compliance.
C Weighted criteria (Core) reflect statutory and professional
requirements, guidance, strategies and reports issued by the
government, Department of Health and professional bodies and
sound organisational practice in health care.
D Weighted criteria (Developmental) relate to enhanced practice
that some trusts may already offer and others should be aiming to
achieve given sufficient resources and a strong commitment to
quality. Over time developmental criteria will become core.
Definition of criteria
Designed to be measurable through self-assessment and survey
Flexible and adaptable, applicable irrespective of the size and
composition of each library/knowledge service. The criteria set out
what needs to be achieved, implemented according to local
circumstances, with staff teams within the local knowledge
services decide and manage how this is to be done.
Type of criteria
Corporate criteria reflect the requirements of the parent
organisation (this may be a PCT, SHA, Trust or other healthcare
Service criteria reflect the requirement at library/knowledge
Categories of compliance
– The criterion is in place
– There is evidence to prove this
– There is written, observable, established practice
– All staff are aware
– The criterion is not fully met
– It is being worked on (but not draft documents)
– There is evidence to show it is being actively addressed – resources
identified, plans in place
Categories of compliance
– This has not been considered
– No work towards implementation
– May be a willingness to progress but no supporting action or plans to
– What is observed falls far short of the guidance
– Draft documents
– Unsafe systems of practice
– Individual standards or criteria that do not apply to the knowledge
– These need to be agreed with the lead surveyor and documented as to
why they are not applicable.
Corporate and Service Criteria
The ability of library/knowledge service to be high quality,
timely, appropriate and safe, and provide value for money
requires commitment from the organisation to ensure policies
and processes are in place to enable this to happen.
Also the organisation needs to be able to demonstrate the
library/knowledge service is part of the corporate body with
regards to strategy, policy and legislative requirements.
Example - 1.5 Corporate Risk
There is a dated, documented risk management strategy for
the NHS funded library/knowledge services which is reviewed
on an annual basis.
The strategy details aims, objectives, committee structures and
accountabilities and individual responsibilities, and covers all types of risk
including environmental and organisational (finance, human resources,
legal compliance, health and safety). It should include the following
elements: the process for reviewing the service’s performance with regard
to the management of risk, the identification of how risk is measured, key
objectives for managing risk, guidance on what constitutes "acceptable"
risk, links between the strategy and risk management policies and
procedures and how staff are to be trained in risk management.
Example – Domain 3.2 Staff Structure
A named person is responsible for the co-ordination of local
quality improvement/management activities.
The service quality co-ordinator should also link into organisation-
wide quality initiatives and structures, both formally and informally.
The responsibilities of this person may include leading on the
implementation of the quality assurance/accreditation programme
for the service.
Benefits - 1
• It provides the mechanism for quality assurance, quality
management and quality control for all library/knowledge
services that support healthcare organisations.
• The Framework is generic to any type of knowledge service,
whether a library, a resource centre, information unit or an
individual in a specialised role.
• Providing a standardised approach to quality improvement
and service modernisation for library/knowledge services
across the whole local healthcare economy including Acute
Trusts, Mental Healthcare Trusts, Primary Care Trusts,
Primary Health Care Teams, Voluntary Agencies, Hospices,
Independent Providers and virtual library/knowledge services
Benefits - 2
• Opportunities to align with organisational core business and
to raise profile of the Library/Knowledge Service
• Staffing opportunities to extend competencies in project
management, surveying and assessing quality provision in
peer review visits.
• The provision of a clear action plan for service improvement
will become evident through self assessment and peer review
• The press release of the Review of NHS Library Services
and the National Service Framework for Quality
• Circulation of both documents to library/knowledge
organisations and networks.
• Training for Quality Leads, Project Managers, Surveyors,
• Workshops on standards interpretation
• A range of support tools on NLH ‘For Librarians’, e.g.
FAQs, guidance, etc.
• Throughout 2008 self-assessment of services for
compliance to the standards with preparation for peer
review visits in 2009.
• Planning for the accreditation of exceptional services
For further information contact
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