We strive 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. We deliver our services with respect and courtesy to our patients, their carers and our staff, acting with honesty and transparency in everything we do.

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

Annual Quality Account

Our annual quality account helps us to ensure the quality and safety of our services.

You can find the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust quality account below

Royal Devon Quality Account 2022/23

Board meetings and other forums

One of the functions carried out by our Board is to ensure that the Royal Devon is meeting its aims in providing good quality healthcare.

At Board meetings and in other forums, 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.

Find out more


Care Quality Commission (CQC) and other regulators

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.

Find out more here

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.

More information and how to nominate someone

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 Trust 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. 

Learning from excellence

Excellence in healthcare is highly prevalent, but there is often no formal system to capture it. 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 their 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

The Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is committed to learning from our patients’ and carers' experience of our services and involving all stakeholders in service transformation and development. We want to know what matters to you, so that your views guide us toward better services in the future.

We are currently developing a Patient Experience Strategy for our newly formed organisation, following the integration of the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust. This strategy will outline how we continually improve the experience of our patients over the next three years. This will help us ensure patient experience is at the core of every aspect of our activity, and in tangible and measurable ways.

We look forward to sharing our progress with you, but in the meantime, you can learn more about our work with patient experience and engagement at the Northern Devon Healthcare Trust here. As a Foundation Trust since 2004, the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust has also had members and Governors, who have represented public views to the Trust. Both organisations take part in national patient experience surveys and have been high performers across a range of surveys, including maternity, inpatient and cancer care.  

There are lots of different ways for you to get in touch with us and share your feedback, including via our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) departments.

Patient experience strategy

Our patient experience strategy underpins the delivery of our new Trust strategy, ensuring patient experience of our services feeds into everything we do.

Our 2022-25 patient experience strategy defines how our Trust will work collaboratively with our patients and the public, using their knowledge of what the process of receiving care feels like, in order to drive consistent improvement and the best possible care and services. The strategy sets out our ambitions and key objectives over the next three years.

This strategy will help us to go even further, building on the good patient experiences we know we already provide, improve in those areas of challenge, and embed patients at the heart of all our services.

Strategy documents

Patient experience strategy (PDF)

Patient experience strategy (accessible version)


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. 

View our latest reports

Quality Account

Our Annual Quality Account helps us to ensure the quality and safety of our services.

You can find the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust Quality Account below.

NDHT Quality Account 2021/22

Research, development and innovation

The best ideas for improving services come from people who work in them and use them. You can find out more by visiting our Research, development and innovation pages

Find out more


We run 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). 

Last updated: June 29, 2023.