Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP)



What is QIPP?

QIPP stands for Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention. It is a national, regional and local level programme designed to support clinical teams and NHS organisations to improve the quality of care they deliver while making efficiency savings that can be reinvested into the NHS.

Its origins lay in the thinking of the previous government with the Q for quality coming especially from the NHS next stage review work of Lord Darzi. The new coalition government has recognized the potential of this work to reduce costs while continuing to work towards higher standards of care.

In March 2010 DH published a document to describe QIPP to all healthcare professionals; The NHS quality, innovation, productivity and prevention challenge: an introduction for clinicians. This set the agenda as something that all healthcare staff had a role to play its delivery.

QIPP is engaging large numbers of NHS staff to lead and support change. At a regional and local level there are QIPP plans which address the quality and productivity challenge, and these are supported by the national QIPP workstreams which are producing tools and programmes to help local change leaders in successful implementation.

QIPP workstreams »
Embedding QIPP into pharmacy »
RPS projects that support QIPP »
Additional resources »

QIPP workstreams

The Department of Health has set up twelve workstreams to help manage the delivery of QIPP in the NHS. The national workstreams fit into three key areas; commissioning and pathways, provider efficiency and system enablers.  The workstreams have been identified in order to deliver the quality and productivity challenge, each with a dedicated lead to drive the agenda forward. Each workstream is lead by a national champion who undertakes these roles in addition to their day to day job.

There are 12 national workstreams in total. Five deal broadly with how we commission care, covering long-term conditions, right care, safe care, urgent care and end of life care. Five deal with how we run, staff and supply our organisations, covering productive care (staff productivity), non-clinical procurement, medicines use and procurement, efficient back office functions and pathology rationalisation. There are two enabling workstreams covering primary care commissioning and contracting and the role of digital technology in delivering quality and productivity improvement.

You can click on the links below to find out more about the workstream areas.

Provider efficiency

• Back office efficiency and optimal management »
• Procurement »
• Clinical support »
• Productive care »
• Medicine use and procurement »

Commissioning and pathways

Safe care »
Right care »
Long term conditions »
Urgent and emergency care »
End of life care »

System enablers

Primary care commissioning »
Technology and digital vision »

In addition to QIPP there are other NHS quality initiatives such as quality metrics, PROMs and CQUINs amongst others. How these will impact upon the delivery of pharmacy services is the subject of a PJ article by Linda Dodds. 

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Embedding QIPP into pharmacy

Much of what pharmacy already delivers is of a high quality and is often innovative. As the NHS structure in England is reorganised, QIPP is becoming increasingly important as a vehicle to improve quality, do things differently and make cost savings.

As pharmacy becomes one of a number of 'any willing providers' they will need to demonstrate that their services fit with the QIPP agenda in order to tender on an equitable basis with other service providers. QIPP is a way of demonstrating improving practice. QIPP is an approach that can be used to make pharmacy services competitive in a new and more challenging healthcare market.

You can view examples of pharmacy services that fit with the QIPP agenda by searching our Map of Evidence.

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RPS Projects that support QIPP

VTE workstream

A partnership working group between the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges, the Royal College of Nursing, and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has been set up to focus the NHS on implementing the venous thromboembolism (VTE) prevention strategy.

According to a Health Committee report from 2005, there are an estimated 25,000 deaths in England, from venous thromboembolism in hospitals. This is more than the combined total of deaths from breast cancer, AIDS and traffic accidents and more than twenty five times the number who die from MRSA.

The three professional bodies are calling upon NHS Trusts to commit to the VTE prevention initiative.
This includes:

• Risk assessment and appropriate thromboprophylaxis for all adult patients admitted to hospital
• Greater post discharge follow up in the community for patients
• Improvements in care by auditing patient outcomes
• Introducing effective multidisciplinary practice in the prevention of VTE

The three professions have committed to work together in the future on other areas where a collaborative approach will lead to improvements in patient care.

The RPS has engaged specialist Sharron Millen, to lead on this multidisciplinary piece of work and another member Robin Offord will be speaking at the DH/APPT Summit on VTE in Parliament at the end of March.

RPS have used all our communication channels including a 3 page article and cover story in the Pharmaceutical Journal to promote this initiative to the profession and wider.

Transfer of care

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society, after discussions with the Department of Health, has led on the development of multidisciplinary core principles and key responsibilities and well as core content to underpin the safe transfer of information about medicines whenever a patient transfers between care providers, at any point in the patient pathway. We worked closely with organisations who have already carried out work in this area such as the Royal College of Physicians, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, Royal College of Nursing, Royal College of General Practitioners, National Prescribing Centre and Care Quality Commission. We also engaged with a wide range of patient groups. For more information please visit our Transfer of Care section


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Additional resources

National Prescribing Centre (NPC)

The NPC has been working, since last autumn, with the Department of Health (DH), Peter Rowe (QIPP National Workstream Lead - medicines use and procurement) and other stakeholders on the QIPP agenda involving medicines.

The first update of the National Prescribing Centre’s Key therapeutic topics – Medicines management options for local implementation was published at the end of February 2011. The 15 original topics remain; changes from the original version have largely been to increase clarity and reduce areas where there was room for ambiguity.

In addition, the NPC, the NHS Information Centre and the Prescription Pricing Division of the NHS Business Services Authority (PPD) have been developing comparators to help with the monitoring of progress on these topics. Those data will very shortly be available from the PPD’s Prescribing Toolkit platform, and the comparators are listed in Section 2 of the document.
In 2011/12 there will be an update of this document every 6 months (as required), alongside six regional QIPP medicines meetings, as well as a large programme of QIPP workshops aimed specifically at GP consortia from the NPC, all as part of a wide-ranging programme of support.

View further information on QIPP – medicines management options for local consideration »

Department of Health

View further information on Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) »

NHS Evidence

A collection of evidence to support quality and productivity at a local level. View further information on their website.

UK Medicines Information

This website has some information on the QIPP agenda

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