The Essence of Care benchmarks were designed to support quality improvement measures set out in a First Class Service (1998). Essence of Care benchmarking is a qualitative approach and involves the identification of patient-focused best practice in aspects of care crucial to the quality of the patient's experience.


In 2004/05 the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) in conjunction with NIPEC completed a project to implement Essence of Care benchmarks across care settings in Northern Ireland. There was an excellent level of engagement across the HPSS, nursing home and voluntary sector. A total of 54 projects were initiated and showcased in an abstract document and the whole project was evaluated.

In 2006 NIPEC undertook a review of both the progress of these initial 54 projects and the progress on the recommendations of the Evaluation Report in relation to organisational integration and mainstreaming benchmarking activity.

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3rd June 2007
Final Report
Final Report for the Review of the NI Essence of Care Project
3rd May 2005
Project Evaluation Report
Project Evaluation Report for the NI Essence of Care Project