What do the SOF segments mean?

Under the Single Oversight Framework (SOF), which is designed to help NHS providers attain, and maintain, Care Quality Commission ratings of ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’, NHS England and NHS Improvement now segment providers based on the level of support each provider needs.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have segmented trusts according to the level of support each trust needs across the five themes of quality of care, finance and use of resources, operational performance, strategic change and leadership and improvement capability.

Each trust is segmented into one of the following four categories:

Segment 1:
Maximum autonomy

Providers with maximum autonomy: no potential support needs identified. Lowest level of oversight; segmentation decisions taken quarterly in the absence of any significant deterioration in performance.

Segment 2:
Targeted support offer

Providers offered targeted support: there are concerns in relation to one or more of the themes. We've identified targeted support that the provider can access to address these concerns, but which they are not obliged to take up. For some providers in segment 2, more evidence may need to be gathered to identify appropriate support.

Segment 3:
Mandated support

Providers receiving mandated support for significant concerns: there is actual or suspected breach of licence, and a Regional Support Group has agreed to seek formal undertakings from the provider or the Provider Regulation Committee has agreed to impose regulatory requirements.

Segment 4:
Special Measures

Providers in special measures: there is actual or suspected breach of licence with very serious and/or complex issues. The Provider Regulation Committee has agreed it meets the criteria to go into special measures.


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