Nurses are being offered a new best practice tool to improve care for patients.
The revised set of benchmarks in the Essence of Care series have been launched by the Chief Nursing Officer Christine Beasley.
She said the move will help boost patient confidence by reassuring them that the GP surgery or hospital they are in can meet their needs.
The new benchmarks focus on practice maintenance, cleanliness, ease of access, provision for personal space, and methods of controlling infections.
It follows a consultation process which received responses from more than 170 individuals and organisations.
The 10 areas covered by the Essence of Care series are communication, continence, hygiene, nutrition, pressure ulcers, privacy and dignity, record-keeping, safety, self-care and promoting health.
Christine Beasley said: "The Essence of Care programme is unique in that it combines the elements that are important to patients, with actions that professionals can take to make real improvements in the environment they create for patients.
"The overall toolkit helps share best practice among the entire nursing team, and maintain high standards."