Using clinical audit in commissioning

Guidance Published: Author: HQIP

A brand new HQIP guide outlining how clinical audit can be used by commissioners to assure both quality and drive continuous improvement in patient care.

In addition to those who commission services and CCG quality leads, this guidance will also be of interest to clinicians, clinical audit staff and NHS Trust Board members, particularly those who wish to negotiate and collaborate with their local commissioners. 

The content is presented in two parts. Part one  focuses on the strengths and limitations of clinical audit outputs for monitoring and assurance. Part two considers how clinical audit can drive quality improvement as demonstrated through case studies and practical guidance. 

Why every commissioner should read this guide? 

NHS Commissioners are required by law to exercise their role with a view to securing continuous improvement in the quality of health care services e.g. effectiveness of services, safety of services provided and the quality of the patient experience. 

Clinical audit is a quality improvement process that can be used by commissioners and service providers working in partnership to meet the requirements of the NHS constitution. The findings and outcomes of audits provide a rich source of information that can be used to monitor the quality of care services. 

The complete guide to 'Using clinical audit in commissioning' is available to download using the link below. 

Please send any feedback or comments to the HQIP Quality, Improvement and Development Team by emailing

HQIP also recommends

Knowledge of information governance and the requirement for patient consent is crucial when carrying out the collection of clinical data. With this in mind we've  published an additional document to support commissioners and others adhere to legal standards, key legislation and principles when requesting patient data.

The HQIP guide to 'Information governance in local quality improvement' is available now and can be downloaded here