In 2013 the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) commissioned Improvement Science London to analyse and report on engaging clinicians in quality improvement through national clinical audit. The full report, alongside HQIP's narrative response to the report and a summary of actions were published in October 2014.
Why HQIP commissioned this report
The National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcome Programme (NCAPOP) is designed to support healthcare provider and commissioning organisations, clinicians and patients to work together to improve patient outcomes across a wide range of conditions. Its purpose is to engage healthcare professionals in the systematic evaluation of their clinical practice against standards and to support and encourage improvement in the quality of treatment and care.
However, the potential of national clinical audits has not been realised universally throughout the NHS. We asked Improvement Science London to research some of the reasons behind this.
The main aims of the project were to:
Research was carried out through contributions from a range of audiences including clinicians and clinical audit staff, and the suppliers and commissioners of national clinical audit. Thirty participants contributed their views through interviews or focus groups. A number of themes arose, including: technical and practical issues, communication and national and local alignment to quality improvement. These are the six key findings:
The recommendations from this project encompass all aspects of national audit from commissioning through development to participation and beyond. They are intended for the four key groups within the national audit community:
What HQIP has done already and what we intend to do next
We are already implementing some of the key recommendations. Some of the remaining challenges we can and will address ourselves; many we will work through in partnership with others.
We have captured this current and planned activity and we have published a summary of our action points alongside this report.
HQIP's Quality Improvement and Development (QID) team are reviewing the recommendations aimed at provider organisations and front line staff in order to develop ways that we can further support clinicians and organisations. This will be done through the active promotion of sharing best practice; developing pertinent, role specific guidance; regional workshops; eLearning programmes and the development and support of improvement networks.
HQIP would like to take this opportunity to thank Martin Marshall and Dominique Allwood of Improvement Science London for their invaluable work on this project.