Launched in April 1998, NSFs set and promote clear national standards for services for improvement and to reduce unacceptable variations in care and treatment. They are seen as key to the government’s health and social care modernisation programme. The frameworks set national standards and define service models for a discrete service or care group; put in place strategies to support implementation; and establish performance “milestones” against which progress within an agreed timescale can be measured. Frameworks are developed by an external reference group, which brings together service users, carers, health and social care professionals, managers, partner agencies and other advocates.
Frameworks include those for cancer, paediatric intensive care, mental health, coronary heart disease, children, young people and maternity care, and older people.
Other UK equivalents: NSFs issued separately by the National Assembly of Wales.