The RDE aims to provide the highest quality patient care delivered with courtesy and respect.

Our principles on quality care include:

  • Ensuring quality is at the centre of everything we do.
  • Striving to consistently meet or exceed the expectations of our service users.
  • Delivering our services with respect and courtesy to our patients, their carers and our staff.
  • Maintaining the very highest quality standards and building a culture where we will not settle for being good – we want to be excellent.
  • Continuously learning and promoting innovation to ensure we provide the best care not only today but in the future.
  • Acting with honesty and transparency in everything we do.

One of the functions carried out by our Board is to ensure that the Trust is meeting its aims in providing good quality healthcare. At Board meetings and in other fora, Directors are consistently identifying the linkages between different sources of information on the Trust’s performance to ensure that there is no compromise on either safety or quality issues. Particular attention is paid to examining and understanding the causal and non-causal connections between different metrics and that any unexpected movements in the data can be properly explained and evidenced.

See below for an outline of some of our approaches and our Annual Quality Reports for more detail.

Annual Quality Report

Our Annual Quality Reports, included in our Annual Reports, detail our work to ensure and continually improve the quality and safety of our services.

This is measured by looking at patient safety, effectiveness of treatments and patient feedback.

Click here to see our latest reports

Celebrating excellence

We run an annual series of Extraordinary People Awards, to recognise and celebrate the numerous extraordinary efforts and achievements of our staff. 

This is hugely important, as it helps people to feel valued in their work and contributes to improved staff well-being, which in turn improves patient care and efficiencies.

For more information and to nominate someone please click here.

Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) scheme

The Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) scheme is a payment framework; whereby health care commissioners link a proportion of an NHS providers' income to the achievement of quality improvement goals.

In a nutshell, each time the RD&E achieves certain quality improvement targets, we are awarded additional funds by our Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). 

Run by NHS England, the scheme aims to support improvements in the quality of services and the creation of new, improved patterns of care. 


The best ideas for improving services come from people who work in them and use them. 

The RD&E has our very own Innovation Hub and renowned joint Research and Development programme, together with the University of Exeter. 

We participate in national and local programmes, along with providing training and toolkits, to encourage innovation at the RDE. These include: 

Learning from Excellence

Excellence in healthcare is highly prevalent, but there is often no formal system to capture it. At the RD&E we feel it is time to redress the balance and have launched ‘Learning from Excellence (LfE)’.

We believe that studying excellence in healthcare can create new opportunities for learning, improve resilience and boost staff morale.

Safety in healthcare has traditionally focused on avoiding harm by learning from error. A preoccupation with this approach can miss opportunities to learn from excellent practice and contribute to rigidity, anxiety and stifled innovation.

One of the key functions of LfE is to provide recognition to staff (individuals or teams) who have performed excellently. We know from the thousands of reports we receive, that many episodes of excellence are everyday activities – e.g. lending a hand, supporting a peer, going above and beyond, showing kindness to a patient, or demonstrating good teamwork.

Staff are asked to voluntarily identify examples of excellent care in their area of work, however big or small, and submit them. Entries are then fed back to staff as a short report - in story format - describing an episode of excellence.

The recipients of reports frequently feedback “going about their work differently” as a result of receiving recognition. Often, they were not aware that there actions had had such a positive impact until they received the report. The effect of being nominated truly is morale-boosting.

Recognition is a key factor in staff engagement; staff who feel recognised and valued are more engaged in their work and consequently deliver high-quality care.

Patient experience & engagement

No one is better placed than the patient to inform how we continually improve and deliver quality care.

Patient feedback enables us to celebrate and re-enforce what goes well. It also helps us to better understand and learn from what can be done better. At the RD&E we are committed to listening to patient and carer feedback at every opportunity and actively encourage people to share their experience no matter what.

We do this in many different ways, for example through our Patient Advice and Liaison (PALS) team, complaints, concerns, comments, compliments and other patient experience tools such as comment cards, ‘what went well even better if’, National surveys, the Trust’s Quality Assessment Tools, Friends and Family Test and Patient Opinion.

Click here to see the ‘Your feedback matters’ pages.

'Expert patients', feed into many of our services, on committees and in feedback groups. This informs our service development and at best can lead to the 'co-production' of services. 

Our Patient Experience Department is responsible for collating and analysing patient feedback. They report regularly through the Trust’s Governance system, to inform and facilitate improvements to our services. The Trust’s Patient Experience Committee is responsible for providing assurance to the Trust on patient experience.

Performance targets

We closely monitor our performance and use the data to continuously strive for improvement. We are committed to transparency and regularly publish our integrated performance report. 

Click here to see our latest reports


There are many external organisations that regulate, audit, inspect or review elements of health and social care in England.

Inspections are defined as audits, reviews, assessments and the regulation of services.

Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England.

In January/February 2019, the Trust underwent a planned, routine, announced CQC Inspection.

The RD&E was rated 'Good' overall and 'Outstanding' for Caring: Click here to see the full results.


The RD&E runs a range of different surveys, many overseen by NHS England, that provide a valuable source of feedback directly from patients, services users and NHS staff.

These include (but are not limited to) the:

  • National Inpatient Survey
  • National Maternity Survey
  • National Cancer Survey
  • National Friends and Family Test
  • National Staff Survey
  • Adhoc Member Surveys

Information from patient experience surveys is one way to understand what service users think about their recent care and treatment. Likewise, staff surveys provide valuable insight and staff engagement levels in particular have been linked to quality of care. 

Survey results can be used to check progress and improvement, and to hold care providers to account for the outcomes they achieve. These can improve the quality of services that the NHS delivers.

Click here to see the NHS England National Patient and Staff Surveys page (this will take you to a different website). This provides links to survey results published by both NHS England and partner organisations on behalf of NHS England, it also includes links to survey results published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). 


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