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Patient experience in adult NHS services quality standard

The aim of this quality standard is to provide the NHS with clear commissioning guidance on the components of a good patient experience. The quality standard gives evidence-based statements for commissioners that provide the foundation for an ‘NHS cultural shift’ towards a truly patient-centred service.

The quality standard covers improving the quality of the patient experience for people who use adult NHS services. It does not cover people using NHS services for mental health or the experiences of carers of people using NHS services. A separate quality standard (and guidance) has been developed for people using NHS mental health services.

NICE’s dimensions of a good patient experience of the NHS


This quality standard describes markers of high-quality, cost-effective care that, when delivered collectively, should contribute to improving the effectiveness, safety and experience of care for patients using adult NHS services in the following ways:

  • enhancing quality of life for people with long-term conditions
  • ensuring that people have a positive experience of care
  • treating and caring for people in a safe environment and protecting them from avoidable harm.

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