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eNewsletter – Issue 8 - April 2008

Spring heralds new beginnings for clinical audit in the UK


Spring 2008 sees the introduction of a series of changes that are likely to have a major impact on the future delivery of clinical audit in the UK! From April 1st, guardianship of the National Clinical Audit and Patients Outcome Programme transfers from the Healthcare Commission to the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership. HQIP is led by a consortium of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, the Royal College of Nursing and the Long-Term Conditions Alliance and more information can be found via www.hqip.org.uk. Meanwhile, the new National Clinical Audit Advisory Group led by Professor Nick Black is taking shape although it is slightly disappointing to hear that despite over 160 applications being received by the Appointments Commission the group is still looking for three members to represent nursing, social care and the voluntary healthcare sector with interviews for these posts scheduled for mid-May. We understand that further details relating to NCAAG will appear on the new website www.clinicalaudit.nhs.uk although at time of writing the Department of Health could not provide exact timescales on when this website would be activated.

High demand for places at Clinical Audit 2020: The Return


Since announcing the return of Clinical Audit 2020 on 24th September, interest has been exceptional with one-third of the 150 places on offer already allocated. The day will feature a range of expert speakers including Professor Nick Black (pictured) and Martin Ferris, Chair of the National Audit and Governance Group. We also have the inspirational Andy Cope returning to deliver a 90 minute presentation, plus speakers from the National Blood Service and GAIN from Northern Ireland. A highlight of the day will doubtless be the clinical audit poster competition with the £200 first prize to be determined by votes from delegates. The early-bird offer of £140 plus VAT (£164.50) is available until the end of June. Click here to take a look at the 2020 webpage.

NICE change approach to clinical audit support


NICE have recently announced a number of changes to the clinical audit products that they produce. Since the institute was established, guidance was always accompanied by audit criteria which could be used as a basis for planning clinical audit projects. However, in November 2007 NICE changed this approach and now split the criteria into clinical and organisational ones. NICE now also supply corresponding data collection tools in a package called Audit Support and it is hoped that this will save clinical auditors time by providing ready-to-use audit tools that can be adopted or amended to make them appropriate locally. Another change to audit at NICE is that audit criteria are no longer developed by CASPE. NICE have a new audit team consisting of Kirsty MacLean Steel and Phil Higham and if you have any questions about the changes outlined in this news update contact kirsty.macleansteel@nice.org.uk. Kirsty will also be providing a detailed update on the work of NICE at Clinical Audit 2020 in September.

Regional clinical audit events announced


As part of the initiative to re-invigorate clinical audit in the UK, the Department of Health have helped set up a number of regional clinical audit events. Local audit professionals from each region are responsible for co-ordinating their event, but CASC understand that each event will include updates on the new arrangement for the National Clinical Audit Programme and details of the new National Clinical Audit Advisory Group. Tracy Ruthven, CASC Director, has also been invited to each event to talk about how patients can more effectively be involved in clinical audit work. We are aware of the following events: Plymouth (14th May), Bristol (15th May) and Newcastle (25th June). We assume further details and booking arrangements will be communicated at a regional level.

CASC work commended


Work carried out by the Clinical Audit Support Centre has been recognised at a number of levels during the first three months of 2008. First, our research looking at the quality of significant event audit reports will be showcased at the NPSA’s Patient Safety Seminar taking place in Nottingham on 11th June. All PCTs have been offered three delegate places for this event. Further, Healthcare Events have requested that our SEA work is presented at their Risk and Patient Safety conference taking place in November. In addition, we have recently written a guide on how to conduct a successful clinical audit project for the forthcoming edition of Nursing Management.

Update on CASC training information


CASC are in the process of upgrading the training section of our website and this work will be completed by the end of April. The new section will include a training directory and timetable, more detailed information on the courses that we offer including prices and feedback from previous attendees. We have a number of accredited courses scheduled for later in 2008 and these include – Advanced Clinical Audit (12th June), Significant Event Audit Masterclass (18th September) and Train the Trainers (11th September). Our distance learning course in clinical audit can be accessed at any point during the year. Please email info@clinicalauditsupport.com for more information.

Au revoir to the Clinical Governance Support Team


After almost 10 years in existence, the Clinical Governance Support Team closed their doors for the final time on 31st March 2008. The decision to end the work of the CGST was made following lengthy consideration by the National Programmes Review Panel of the Office of Strategic Health Authorities. As a result of this decision, from 1st April 2008, Strategic Health Authorities gained responsibility for clinical governance. The CGST website is still operational via www.cgsupport.nhs.uk but the site will no longer be updated. With this in mind we would advise those of you who may wish to access resources currently available on the CGST website to download them as soon as possible.

Principles for Best Practice update


Work on the new edition of Principles for Best Practice in Clinical Audit continues and it is a relief that new national arrangements for clinical audit have now been finalised. The CASC team received 42 case studies for consideration in the new book and all of these have now been assessed with feedback returned to submitting authors. We are grateful to all authors who sent in their work for review, although a slight concern has been that only 25% of audits included a re-audit phase. Approximately half of the chapters have now been submitted and we are working on writing further sections of the book during Spring 2008.

Who will be our 1000th member?


Since publishing our first E Newsletter at the start of 2007 literally hundreds of healthcare staff have joined our mailing list. We now have almost 700 members and are aiming to reach 1000 by the end of 2008. Please encourage colleagues with an interest in clinical audit to sign up as our 1000th member will win a very special prize! For information, all previous E newsletters are available via the Community section of the CASC website.

Training Courses:
Advanced Clinical Audit
Devising Clinical Audit
Distance Learning Course
Introduction to Clinical Audit
Introduction to SEA
SEA Masterclass
Train the Trainer in Audit

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Next E Newsletter will be published on Tuesday 27th May.

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