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Practical Commissioning's Jargon Buster explains the meaning of the term 'QIPP'.

Stands for Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention.

NHS chief executive David Nicholson made this approach central to achieving the vision of the Darzi Next Stage Review, issuing a ‘QIPP challenge' to chief executives throughout the NHS last year. The programme demands action at regional, and national level to drive up quality while meeting the financial demands of the next few years – making the best use of scarce resources. More cynical Practice Based Commissioners describe it as ‘how to get a quart out of a pint pot'.

There is one central DH-led workstream reviewing central budgets and international comparisons, while there are eight further workstreams within the service and a tenth looking at the system changes needed to support delivery. The NHS workstreams include:

• primary care productivity

• appropriate care, decommissioning and demand management

• new models of care self care and prevention.

• secondary care productivity.

Proposals for new ways of working or service redesign should demonstrate how they meet the QIPP challenge if they are to be successful. The philosophy underpinned the NHS Plan for 2010-15, ‘From Good to Great' and the latest operating framework.

The concept is linked to research by the charity The Health Foundation. Their Quest for Quality and Improved Performance initiative developed a comprehensive picture of quality and highlighted differences in performance across the UK. For more detail, see – go to publications/briefings and leaflets/QQUIP.