Single Oversight Framework for NHS providers

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Sets out how we oversee NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts, helping us to determine the level of support they need.

What is the Single Oversight Framework (SOF)

Single Oversight Framework PDF, 516.2 KB

The framework applies to all NHS trusts and foundation trusts.

Single Oversight Framework: appendices PDF, 438.3 KB

This document sets out the detail of the metrics used to monitor and assess performance under each theme of the Single Oversight Framework.

The Single Oversight Framework (SOF) sets out how we oversee NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts, using one consistent approach. It helps us to determine the type and level of support that you need to meet these requirements.

Our objective is to help providers to attain and maintain Care Quality Commission ratings of ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’, meet NHS constitution standards and manage their resources effectively, working alongside their local partners. 

The SOF 2017

The first version of the SOF was published in September 2016. In November 2017 we updated the SOF to:

  • reflect changes in national policy priorities and standards
  • clarify certain processes and definitions
  • improve the structure and presentation of the document

We ran a feedback exercise during August to September 2017 to gather views on the draft updates. You can find out more about the feedback exercise, including the changes we proposed, the responses we received and how your views were reflected in the final version of the updated SOF.

How SOF works

The framework will help us identify NHS providers' support needs across five themes:

  • quality of care
  • finance and use of resources
  • operational performance
  • strategic change
  • leadership and improvement capability
We monitor providers’ performance under each of these themes and consider whether they require support to meet the standards required in each area. We segment individual trusts into four categories according to the level of support each trust needs. Where improvements in performance are required, we develop a package of support with the provider to help them achieve this. 

Single Oversight Framework update: an overview PDF, 321.1 KB

Find out more information about the SOF and how we use it to oversee providers.

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