Quality Services

QUALITY is at the heart of everything we strive to achieve within the NHS; it is also of paramount importance to NHS Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) that quality is at the centre of all services commissioned on behalf of local people.

What we mean by “Quality”?

Quality can mean different things to different people, it is therefore no surprise that it has and will be described in different ways dependent upon who you speak to. The current definition embraced by staff across the NHS sets out the following three dimensions to quality:

  1. Safe: People need to be assured that they will not come to harm and that services have systems in place to protect and safeguard them.
  2. Effective: People need to have confidence that the health and care provided will be based on the best available evidence that addresses their needs and delivers the best outcomes.
  3. Experience: People want to receive care that is personal and inclusive to them, whilst being treated with compassion, dignity and respect.

All three dimensions must be present in order to provide a ‘high quality’ service. This definition is enshrined within the current Health and Social Care Act (2012) placing quality at the heart of everything that we do. The NHS Constitution (2012; updated 2015) also clearly articulates every persons’ right to high quality care. The CCG uses these core elements to define its internal arrangements for Clinical Governance and to assess and measure quality of its commissioned services.


Quality Initiatives

The CCG and Wigan Council are working with the Heathier Wigan Partnership (HWP). HWP is a collaborative body made up of local services; i.e. Acute and Community, Mental Health, General Practice, Independent and Voluntary Sectors. Together the aim is to set out how as partners we will develop and agree on, a Borough wide ‘single shared view of quality’, that is reflective of what local people have told us matters most to them.

During July and August this year we engaged with local people about quality through face to face contacts and social media. We asked people to recall the last time they used a health or social care service, the aim being to find out what ‘good quality’ means to people. A total of 381 on line surveys were completed and we spoke to many more people at our meetings and events. The report produced describes what patients and residents told us about quality, these statements will be further development to inform the overall strategy for Quality the Wigan Way.

The CCG is a member of the ‘Zero Suicide Alliance’. The Alliance is a collaborative of NHS organisations, businesses and individuals who are all committed to suicide prevention in the UK and beyond. The alliance is ultimately concerned with improving support for people contemplating suicide by raising awareness of and promoting FREE suicide prevention training which is accessible to all.


These interactive sessions are raising Sepsis Awareness, “Could it be Sepsis” across the Borough, the aim being the early escalation of an identified or deteriorating person. The sessions have been widely taken up by GPs and Practice Staff, inclusive of their patient group representatives. Work continues to support the Borough wide activities on the early identification and treatment of Sepsis. On completion all participants receive a certificate and a bespoke designed ‘Wigan Borough Sepsis Spotter’ Badge. The badges are proving to be very popular with all staff.

The resistance of bacteria to antibiotics is a serious concern for society as a whole, as medical treatments and surgery rely on antibiotics to prevent and treat the bacterial infections which can develop as a side effect. Without effective antibiotics, even minor surgery and routine operations could become high risk procedures if serious infections cannot be treated. A lead from the Quality Team is working with local GPs and Independent Sector providers to deliver the bespoke ‘Preventing Infection Together Educational Programmes’. The aim is to support our local providers to achieve excellence by improving their knowledge in respect of preventing, and controlling the spread of infection.

What can the public do?  Everyone can help to keep antibiotics working through simple everyday actions that assist to prevent infections from spreading:

  • ALWAYS: ensuring good hand hygiene and by using a tissue when we sneeze
  • ALWAYS: seek appropriate advice regards keeping up to date with recommended vaccinations

When we need and are prescribed antibiotics we should:

  • ALWAYS: use antibiotics as directed by health professional and complete the full course.
  • NEVER:    take left over antibiotics or antibiotics that have been prescribed for someone else.

Children and young people tend to have higher rates of infection and commonly take antibiotics as a treatment. By educating children from a young age about infection, looking after ourselves through good hygiene, and using antibiotics responsibly we can help to protect them from the threat of antibiotic resistance. Reducing rates of infection in your community can help to protect those most vulnerable, improve the health of all and reduce absence from school and work and increase productivity.

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