Exploring unwarranted variation through the RightCare programme

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This article has been double-blind peer reviewedIn this article…• Concepts of warranted and unwarranted variation• Three-step approach of the NHS RightCare programme• Areas where nurses can play a leadership roleAuthor Philip DaSilva is co-founder and clinical advisor, NHS RightCare; Michelle Mello is NHS RightCare national clinical lead for shared decision making; Susan Aitkinhead is director of nursing, professional development; all at NHS England. While some of the variation in care observed in England is normal and expected, much of it is ‘unwarranted’ and cannot be explained - or indeed defended. Unwarranted variation wastes valuable resources, is a symbol of poor-quality care and leads to poorer outcomes and experiences for individuals and populations. One of the principles of the NHS RightCare programme is to search for and reduce unwarranted variation, and nurses are ideally positioned to lead this search and take action to improve care. This article offers an introduction to unwarranted variation and discusses how nurses can tackle it through the RightCare programme. It is published in parallel with an example of how RightCare is used in Liverpool to engage general practice nurses (see page 31).Citation DaSilva P et al (2018) Exploring unwarranted variation through the RightCare programme. Nursing Times [online]; 114:1, 28-30.Talking pointsNHS England is rolling out the RightCare programme, which is driven by the aim to reduce unwarranted variation Unwarranted variation is a waste of resources and a symbol of poorquality care All nurses have a leadership role in driving quality improvements Nurses have a key role to play in the RightCare programme using their leadership skills Nurses need to think about how resources are used and explore unwarranted variation

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