NHS service standard - 10. Define what success looks like and be open about how your service is performing

Work out how your service helps improve health and well being, people's experience of health and care, and the efficiency of the health service and how you will know that you're succeeding.

Collect performance information across all channels so that you can measure and show that the service is effective and improving.

Why it's important

Having clear objectives, a definition of what success looks like and appropriate metrics means that you'll know whether the service is solving the problem it's meant to solve.

Collecting the right information will alert you to improvements you need to make and help you know if changes have the effect you intend.

Services funded by public money should be transparent about how they are performing.

What you should do

Your team should be able to show that you:

  • are clear from the start what your objectives are and the benefits you will be measuring
  • have a benefits case that considers not just the cost but also use, usability and clinical benefit
  • have identified appropriate metrics and are tracking performance against them
  • identify not only the benefits but also potential negative impact, inappropriate use or unintended consequences
  • use performance data to make decisions about how to fix problems and improve the service
  • iterate and improve your metrics and data collection practices as you learn more about user needs
  • make performance information public


GOV.UK resources

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Help us improve this guidance

Share insights or feedback and take part in the discussion. We use GitHub as a collaboration space. All the information on it is open to the public.

If you've gone through a service assessment or peer review, we're especially interested to hear from you.

Read more about how to feedback or share insights.

If you have any questions, get in touch with the service manual team.

Updated: December 2019