Quality Accounts – our responses

What is a Quality Account and why do Trusts produce one?

Each year all NHS Hospital Trusts are required to publish a report about the quality of services they offer.

Quality Accounts are both retrospective and forward looking. They assess previous year’s information regarding the quality of services, but also identify priorities for improvement for the coming financial year.

The quality of services is measured by examining patient safety, the effectiveness of treatments patients receive, and patient feedback about the care provided.

A Quality Accounts report serves as an opportunity for NHS Trusts to:

  • Review services and provide information on the quality of their services to the public.
  • Show improvements they have made to their services but also where further improvements are required.
  • Outline plans for further improvements to services they deliver.
  • Demonstrate how they involve and respond to feedback from patients and the public, as well as other stakeholders (including governors of Foundation Trusts, the Care Quality Commission).

Healthwatch Birmingham actively engages with Trust’s Quality Accounts leads to ensure that we receive draft copies of Quality Accounts for each year. When we receive a report, we produce a statement. Once a provider receives our comments they are bound by law to include this in the final Quality Account document.

Healthwatch Birmingham sees these reports as an opportunity to ensure the following:

  • that Birmingham citizens are receiving the very best quality of care that meets their needs.
  • that Birmingham citizens are involved in the way services are provided;
  • that patient feedback, experience and insight informs service development, reviews, and delivery.

Healthwatch Birmingham’s scrutiny of Quality Accounts is centred on how well it reflects patients, the public and service users (PPSuCs) experiences. We therefore, examine PPSuC’s feedback, insight and experiences that we have received in the past year and use this to inform our comments. PPSuC’s feedback helps us to identify where things are not being done well by the Trust, examine how well the Trust is using that feedback and experiences to improve services and to challenge Trusts on their planned actions.

Read our Quality Accounts Impact Report here

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust

Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust

West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust


The Quality Accounts show various levels of patient and public involvement with some Quality Accounts showing clear evidence of involvement across the Trusts. For instance, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital NHS Trust seem to have more developed plans around involvement. In other Trusts, service user, patients and public involvement is patchier and not evident across the Trust. However, it is evident in the Quality Accounts that Healthwatch Birmingham’s work (among others) is influencing the work of the Trusts around patient and public involvement. It is our hope that our work through the Quality Standard will lead to the development of a ‘patient and public involvement’ strategy across the Trusts that brings these separate engagement activities together.

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust

Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust 

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust 

West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust