Clinical audit is a quality improvement tool that has been in use within healthcare since the late 1980s.
Clinical audit is used by clinicians and clinical services to review clinical practice and care in order to understand whether current ways of working meet the agreed standards. If the findings indicate that the standards are not met, the knowledge generated by clinical audit projects is used to agree how improvement can be achieved.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) frequently use findings from a trust’s clinical audit activity as evidence of an organisation’s commitment to clinical governance and quality improvement.
Clinical audit activity itself is also expected to be undertaken in accordance with the principles of best practice, established by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP). Our Trust’s process for clinical audit activity is based on the HQIP principles of best practice.
Clinical audit activity covers a wide range of topics. However, an important part of our Trust’s clinical audit is the annual priority programme. Our Trust agrees priority topics for audit – proposed by clinical governance groups within the Trust. Programmes of priority projects are agreed on an annual basis and include topics relating to external regulatory requirements, national audits and issues of interest or concern in connection with care and outcomes.
Information on participation in national audits and brief summaries of local audits can be found in our Trust’s quality accounts which can be found on the publications page.