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Healthcare Professionals

Specialised Services Quality Outcomes

Specialised Services Quality Dashboards

Specialised Services Quality Dashboards (SSQD) are designed to provide assurance on the quality of care by collecting information about outcomes from healthcare providers. SSQDs are a key tool in monitoring the quality of services, enabling comparison between service providers and supporting improvements over time in the outcomes of services commissioned by NHS England.

For each SSQD of relevance to a patient’s care, there is a list of agreed measures for which data is to be collected. These measures are included in a ‘Metric Definition Set’.

Healthcare providers, including NHS Trusts, NHS Foundation Trusts and independent providers, submit data for each of the agreed measures.

Each SSQD is ‘refreshed’ with up-to-date outcomes submitted from national data sources, and where necessary healthcare providers, on a quarterly basis.

The information provided by the SSQDs is used by NHS England specialised services commissioners to understand the quality and outcomes of services and reasons for excellent performance.  Current specialised services quality dashboard metrics covering 52 services are now available. The focus will be on extending dashboards to cover 80% of specialised services with clinical outcome data.

Providers continue to be required to have an overall registered gatekeeper and service level lead for each dashboard, and to continue to submit data via the portal in line with information requirements.

Service Specification Compliance

The Quality Surveillance Team (QST) will work with the eight Programmes of Care Boards to identify the priorities for quality indicator development, particularly where service specifications are introduced or revised.

Where indicators have not yet been developed providers will be expected to continue to self-declare (using the Quality Surveillance Information System portal), against the key requirements from the service specification compliance process. The self-declaration, annual assessment and production of service profiles underpin the service specification compliance process and signposts commissioners to where they need to work with providers to address gaps in compliance.


Providers were required to complete by 30th June 2017 the self-declaration against a defined sub-set of indicators for all specialised services they are commissioned to provide with relevant approvals signed off by the chief executive of the provider.

Annual Assessment

An annual assessment will be undertaken on services that are flagged as outliers as a result of either a declaration of non-compliance, or as a result of a flag from other data sources including local intelligence. This will be undertaken in collaboration with regional commissioners and the outcome recorded on the QSIS.

Quality Profiles

A quality profile will be generated for each specialised service delivered by any given provider, summarising information from quality surveillance and identifying national outliers. The profile is updated in real time from in-year portal provider submissions. It is also captured at given point annually, as part of the annual assessment, and reviewed by QST and regional commissioners to determine the level of quality surveillance for the following year. Where the process identifies gaps in compliance a meeting will be held between commissioners and providers that will give rise to agreed resolution actions.

Peer Review

The annual programme of peer review visits takes into consideration the current priorities in the NHS England service review programme, services with significant compliance issues and where variation has been identified, either in quality or access.

CQUIN 2020- 21

The CQUIN provides the guidance for the Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) scheme for 2020/21. It sets out details of both the CCG and Prescribed Specialised Services (PSS) schemes. 

NHS England 2020/21 CQUIN 

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