Quality improvement

Quality health care is about doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way, for the right person – and having the best possible results.

The National Screening Unit’s (NSU’s) vision is for high-quality, equitable and accessible national screening programmes. Continuous improvement in the quality of the screening services provided is a key part of achieving this vision. A high-quality service is evidence-based, regularly monitored and evaluated, people centred, safe and effective and provides the same care and health results to everyone, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, or where they live.

The National Screening Unit Quality Framework sets out the expectations for screening programmes. The framework helps people working in screening nationally and locally to deliver high-quality programmes and assists with the design and implementation of screening services.

NSU Quality Principles

The six principles reflect the current direction of the NSU, and guide how screening programmes work to serve the population. The principles underpin the framework.

Programme Monitoring

The National Screening Unit has several systems for making sure its programmes are working.

Policy and Quality Standards are set by the National Screening Unit for both BreastScreen Aotearoa and the National Cervical Screening.  These are the minimum standards with which providers of health services associated with the programmes should comply.  Providers that have been contracted by the Ministry of Health for the programme are monitored against these.

Policy and Quality Standards are being developed for the new National Screening Unit programmes.

Independent Monitoring

Independent monitoring groups are used by the National Screening Unit to assess how both BreastScreen Aotearoa and the National Cervical Screening Programme are meeting their indicators and targets.  The Independent Monitoring Groups (IMGs) make regular reports to the Ministry of Health and recommendations on possible areas of improvement.  Copies of these reports are available on-line:

BreastScreen Aotearoa Independent Monitoring reports

National Cervical Screening Programme Independent Monitoring reports


Page last updated: 22 November 2014