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This paper discusses the use of a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods of measuring quality in a nursing unit. It reports the results of comparing the quality of nursing care between patients admitted to the nursing unit concerned (in Oxford, England) following admission to an acute ward, with patients who spent the whole of their hospitalization in an acute ward. The findings suggest that quality can be best assessed by using a number of methods, and the quality of nursing care delivered in a unit which focuses on therapeutic nursing is significantly and consistently higher than that delivered in acute hospital wards.