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Unwarranted variation in care can be due to a range of factors – it can be caused by cultural, clinical, and patient factors, and the specific causes will differ between specialisms, locations and care settings.
Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) is a national programme designed to improve medical care within the National Health Service by reducing unwarranted variations. By tackling variations in the way services are delivered across the NHS, and by sharing best practice between trusts, GIRFT identifies changes that will help improve care and patient outcomes, as well as delivering efficiencies such as the reduction of unnecessary procedures and cost savings.
The GIRFT programme provides trusts with detailed data and information to allow organisations to understand any unwarranted variation in the care they provide, and guidance on how to improve their care in line with their peers. Further information is available at the following link:
In addition, NHS Improvement produces a variety of resources designed at improving quality, and runs events for NHS staff where best practice is shared. Where a trust is under-performing, NHS Improvement can take regulatory action and put it into financial special measures or quality special measures.
The latest figures from the Care Quality Commission show that 13 acute NHS hospital trusts (specialist and non-specialist), and one community health NHS trust, are rated as outstanding (figures correct as at 3 September 2018).