Nick Black on ensuring health quality in the UK

In this seminar, Nick Black speaks about ensuring health quality in the UK. In an ideal world, high quality care should be safe, effective, humane, and equitable. However, it is not possible to have the maximum of all four dimensions. Some uncomfortable decisions may have to be made. There are a number of ways  that quality can be improved including education, regulation, and incentives among others. A combination of methods is needed for improving quality of care. However, quality will only improve if the people whose behaviour needs to change want to participate. Better quality care cannot be delivered through force. Respected opinion leaders must be on board with the changes for improvements to work. The aim must be to improve quality, not to reduce costs. The seminar was delivered at an event titled ‘Achieving coverage with quality’ that was organised by Mott MacDonald for the Department for International Development (DFID) and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).

The following video gives a brief introduction to the topic.

The full seminar can be viewed in the video below.

The presentation given by Nick can be downloaded here as a PDF.

An MP3 of the seminar can be downloaded here. To save the MP3 to your computer, right click on the link, then select ‘Save…’. Alternatively, the seminar audio can be streamed below.


Nick is a Professor of Health Services Research at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Nick’s main interests are the use of clinical databases for evaluation and audit of health services, patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), the relationship between research and policy, and the history of health services. He co-edits the Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, was founding chair of the UK Health Services Research Network, and in 2006 published Walking London’s medical history to raise public understanding of health services and health care policy through seven walks through London. Since 2007 he has advised NHS England and the Care Quality Commission on several aspects of quality assessment including avoidable hospital deaths, PROMs and national clinical audits and inquiries. In 2013 he was the first recipient of a new international Career Achievement Award for work on PROMs by the Medical Outcomes Trust, USA.

Other speakers

Other speakers at the ‘Achieving coverage with quality’ seminar were:

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