Health written question – answered on 8th September 2014.

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Photo of Crispin Blunt Crispin Blunt Conservative, Reigate

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress NHS England has made in establishing performance floors for the delivery of each routine immunisation programme; what performance floors are in existence, for each immunisation programme; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

There is currently variation in performance on public health functions across the country. The S7A agreement recognises that action required to reduce the range of variation will be required over a period of time. Therefore, the intention of setting performance floors is to support Area Teams to reduce this variation in 2014-15 and address poor performance with providers, while maintaining the ambition for all areas to reach the national minimum standard.

NHS England has worked with Public Health England (PHE) to set the performance floors for immunisation programmes for 2014-15 to identify all cases of unacceptable or low performance. The performance floor has been set as a minimum acceptable level of performance in 2014-15 and form the basis of a trajectory of continuing improvement.

The development and definition of performance floors for immunisation programmes delivered by NHS England are a performance improvement tool for internal use to NHS England. They are defined as, ‘the top value of the bottom quintile of population coverage at the Area Team level’. The use of performance floors to drive improvements in immunisation coverage are at an early stage and will be continually reviewed. They are used as a contrast to the national standards (as defined by PHE) to support improvement initiatives. NHS England expects performance floors to move closer to the nationally defined standard as improvement initiatives are implemented.

NHS England will assure it maintains and improves delivery and performance across all Area Teams for immunisation programmes within its commissioning responsibility as per the Public Health S7a agreement via the Public Health Oversight Group and Specific Immunisation Assurance Group.

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