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Clinical audit featured in Health Service Journal

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Clinical audit rarely gains the attention of the national media, but it is vital that all working in the field read a recently published article in the HSJ entitled ‘National audits drain NHS resources’. Reading beyond the headline the article focuses on the outputs from the recent YEARN report and their recommendations for national clinical audit (see article below) and also features the results of CASC’s annual survey completed by over 200 respondents. The article notes that NCAs are becoming an increasing burden and highlights some common problems with NCAs: lack of explicit criteria and standards, IT flaws and slow reporting back of audit results to participants. CASC Director Stephen Ashmore was asked to comment and suggested there are ‘simply too many national clinical audits’ the majority of which do not measure patient care in community, mental health, primary and social care settings. We hope that the article will help stimulate an open and widespread debate on how to improve and broaden national audits. To read the article click here. Note that if you are not a subscriber to HSJ online you will need to sign up as a temporary member to gain access to the article. This is a simple process to complete.

YEARN publish important report on national audits

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The Yorkshire Effectiveness and Audit Regional Network (YEARN) is one of 15 regional clinical audit networks and during 2015-16 their members collaborated to produce a report entitled ‘National Clinical Audit Feedback and Escalation Mechanisms’. The eight-page report provides a network viewpoint on many aspects of national clinical audit from the perspective of local clinical audit professionals. Sections that will be of interest to the wider clinical audit community include a checklist detailing a minimum set of NCA characteristics that includes: explicit criteria and standards, robust methodology, a fit for purpose data collection tool, etc. The report also highlights that NCAs should not: change their data collection set or commence before all elements have been fully piloted. The report provides a logical overview of how NCAs need to improve and many points raised by YEARN echo what Clinical Audit Support Centre have been advocating for many years. HQIP are due to respond formally to YEARN very soon and you can read the full report by clicking here.

HQIP and the Quality Accounts list 2017/18

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HQIP have recently published the NHS England Quality Accounts List 2017/2018. This list provides the National Clinical Audits and Clinical Outcome Review programmes that NHS England advise Trusts should prioritise for inclusion in their Quality Account. The list contains 64 programmes and will remain static during the year. Five audits included on the list are currently being commissioned by HQIP and may not collect data during 2017/18. To access the Quality Accounts list, please click here. Other HQIP news includes publication of findings from a number of national clinical audit reports. The latest MINAP report indicates that care in relation to treatment times has improved nationally by almost 40% in the last decade. See full report here. Whilst the National Diabetes Audit 2015-16 has shown regional variations in the achievement of patient related targets such as glucose control, blood pressure and cholesterol. Full report available here.

Fabulous response to CASC survey

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We would like to thank all those who took the time and made the effort to contribute to our seventh annual clinical audit survey during December. A record total of 218 respondents completed the survey, a significant uplift on our previous record total of 182 achieved in 2010 and 2015. As in previous years the majority of respondents were from an acute setting with 57% describing themselves as a ‘clinical audit professional’. This year we extended the survey to include more questions on national clinical audit and we have had a great response in terms of ideas on how national audit could be improved. For those of you who are subscribed to our eNewsletter we have devoted almost the entire issue to the interim result. A full report will be published later in 2017. Click here for the PDF containing the headline results.

Accredited and cost effective RCA training: 16 March

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Don Berwick and Sir Robert Francis have rightly stated that patient safety must be the highest priority for all providers of healthcare. With this in mind, CASC have developed an accredited one-day Root Cause Analysis course that provides learners with the key skills they will need to review patient safety incidents. In addition, we also offer accredited training in Significant Event Audit, a team-based risk management process that often takes less time to conduct than a full scale RCA. Both courses can be delivered in-house for up to 20 learners at a time. We also offer the RCA course in Leicester and the next course is scheduled to take place on 16 March. For more details on either course, please contact the CASC team.

Taking clinical audit to the next level

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As part of the October 2016 national clinical audit conference held in Birmingham, CASC were invited to review the current state of clinical audit and suggest how improvements could be made. The presentation was well received but only witnessed by approximately 60 delegates and therefore in order to spread our message we have created a 20-minute film. The film focuses on 1) the current position of clinical audit and 2) our seven recommendations on how we could significantly enhance clinical audit. The film is purely based on CASC’s personal viewpoint and experiences, but we feel passionately that the time has come to make some significant changes in direction. For example, the publicly funded national audit programme focuses almost exclusively on hospitals with the likes of care homes and prisons untouched by this initiative. This is not a sustainable and equitable approach to the delivery of national audit. To watch the film, click here.

CASC article published in Nursing Times

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We are delighted to announce that our joint article written with Claire Rashid and Rachel Bradley (from Leicestershire Partnership Trust) has been published in the Nursing Times. Entitled ‘Using clinical audit to reflect and revalidate’ the article focuses on the ways nurses can participate in clinical audit, how clinical audit can be used for reflection within revalidation and how nurses can reflect on conferences they attend. The article includes information in relation to specific Leicestershire Partnership Trust clinical audit events and the Trust’s established and ongoing relationship with CASC to allow nurses to study for and conduct local audits via the accredited distance-learning course. To read the article, click here.

Issue 213 of audit jobs bulletin now available

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The Clinical Audit Support Centre launched their Clinical Audit Jobs Bulletin in June 2009. Every two weeks we search through all of the clinical audit-related jobs advertised on the NHS jobs website and produce a relevant document that will enable audit professionals to see what jobs are currently available. We list the main descriptors for each role, e.g. employing organisation, job title, salary, location and closing date. We have also noted the job reference number that will allow you to find further details of jobs that you want more information on without spending lots of time searching the entire NHS jobsite database. To download the Jobs Bulletin, click here.

Request your CASC information pack

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CASC have developed a short PDF information guide that provides you with more details in relation to the work we conduct. The PDF includes the following sections: introducing CASC, training and accreditation, support and consultancy, sharing best practice, event management and CASC case studies. The information guide provides a great overview of how we work with healthcare professionals and teams to improve care and make it safer. The case studies showcase real-life examples of how our work has assured best practice and saved money. To access a copy of the information guide in PDF format, click here.

Register for the CASC E-News!

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Since we launched our E Newsletter in February 2007 over 1,000 healthcare professionals have signed up! The E News is free and delivered direct to your email account every two months. The newsletter provides you with a mix of CASC-related and other clinical audit news to help you keep up to date with what is happening in the world of clinical audit. If you have missed a previous issue of E News please visit the community section of our website where all previous issues are archived. Follow this link to sign up for your copy.

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