National Safety and Quality Health Service (NHSQS) Standards

The NSQHS Standards were developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

They comprise 10 individual standards dealing with the areas of:

  • governance
  • consumer involvement
  • clinical areas of health service operation.

The NSQHS Standards are applicable across a wide variety of health services.

The NSQHS Standards provide a mechanism to assess whether relevant systems are in place to ensure:

  • standards of safety and quality are met
  • quality improvement mechanisms are in place.

The primary aim of the NSQHS Standards is to protect the public from harm and to improve the quality of health service provision.

The first 2 Standards (Standard 1 Governance for Safety and Quality in Health Service Organisations and Standard 2 Partnering with Consumers) set the overarching requirements for effective implementation of the remaining 8 standards.

The 10 NSQHS Standards are:

  1. Governance for Safety and Quality in Health Service Organisations –describes the quality framework required for health service organisations to implement safe systems.
  2. Partnering with Consumers – describes the systems and strategies to create a consumer-centred health system by including consumers in the development and design of quality health care.
  3. Preventing and Controlling Healthcare Associated Infections – describes the systems and strategies to prevent infection of patients within the healthcare system and to manage infections effectively when they occur to minimise the consequences.
  4. Medication Safety – describes the systems and strategies to ensure clinicians safely prescribe, dispense and administer appropriate medicines to informed patients.
  5. Patient Identification and Procedure Matching – describes the systems and strategies to identify patients and correctly match their identity with the correct treatment.
  6. Clinical Handover – describes the systems and strategies for effective clinical communication whenever accountability and responsibility for a patient's care is transferred.
  7. Blood and Blood Products – describes the systems and strategies for the safe, effective and appropriate management of blood and blood products so the patients receiving blood are safe.
  8. Preventing and Managing Pressure Injuries – describes the systems and strategies to prevent patients developing pressure injuries and best practice management when pressure injuries occur.
  9. Recognising and Responding to Clinical Deterioration in Acute Health Care – describes the systems and processes to be implemented by health service organisations to respond effectively to patients when their clinical condition deteriorates.
  10. Preventing Falls and Harm from Falls – describes the systems and strategies to reduce the incidence of patient falls in health service organisations and best practice management when falls do occur.

Further information on the NSQHS Standards can be found at the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care website (external site).

Resources to assist in meeting the requirements of the NSQHS Standards

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

The ACSQHC has developed a number of resources to assist health services with accreditation.

Resources for hospitals

Resources for day procedure services

National standards

Resources available to assist services prepare for accreditation

The South Australian and Queensland Governments have produced useful resources in this area. Read more on:

South Australian resources

Queensland resources

View the Queenlsand Government's audit tools for National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (external site)

More information

  • Licensing and Accreditation Regulatory Unit
    Phone 9222 4027
    Fax 9222 4077
    Email:  LARUAccreditation@health.wa.gov.au
    Address:
    Level 1, B Block
    WA Health
    189 Royal Street
    East Perth WA 6004 
Produced by

Licensing and Accreditation Regulatory Unit