Responses to the reports on the inquiry into Mid Staffordshire have resulted in calls from politicians, NHS leaders and the public to improve care across the NHS in England. However, the substance of what needs to be done remains unclear. In this paper, we offer seven key ‘ingredients’ required to sustain improvement of care, supported by evidence drawn from published literature. We believe that empowering and upskilling the front-line workforce in understanding and implementing improvement techniques, supported by changes at system and policy level and reinforced by what leaders say and do, will result in sustainable benefit for patients and families, as well as greater satisfaction for staff.
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