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2008 News Archive

Important news from HQIP!

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Since the launch of their updated website at the end of November, the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership have made a number of important announcements. At the start of December HQIP disclosed details of proposed new national audits and on 15th December it was confirmed that HQIP have been granted charitable status by the Charity Commission. HQIP have also recently announced that they are looking for clinical champions to promote audit and that they are holding a clinical audit awards ceremony at their free event taking place at the Belfry on 29th April. HQIP are also in the process of procuring “hard” resources to help develop clinical audit and more details in relation to all of the above can be obtained via their website.

Practice Nurse Conference hits the spot!

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The Clinical Audit Support Centre recently organised the 11th Leicestershire-wide Practice Nurse Conference. The event took place at the NSPCC Training Centre on 11th December and proved a great success with over 70 nurses in attendance. Keynote speakers Jane Deville Almond and Martin Davies both recorded an 88%”very good” rating and delegates enjoyed the chance to hear from a wide range of expert speakers. 96% of delegates rated the event as “very good” or “good” and we are already in the process of planning the 12th event, scheduled for September 2009. We would like to thank all speakers, exhibitors and delegates who made the day such an excellent event.

VAT update

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As many of you are aware the arrangements for Value Added Tax (VAT) have recently been changed. From 1st December 2008 the government have temporarily reduced VAT from 17.5% to 15%. The new rate will remain in place until 31st December 2009, before reverting back to 17.5% from the start of 2010. The Clinical Audit Support Centre are in the process of altering all course costs and other pricing structures to reflect this change. NHS customers will not be affected greatly by the change as they can reclaim VAT payments.

Reinvigorating clinical audit – 5 suggestions from CASC!

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With Frontline consultants and the Department of Health currently working together to assess clinical audit delivery in the UK, CASC would like to suggest five tips for reinvigorating clinical audit. These are based on our own opinions and from assimilating comments and views that we frequently hear from audit staff and healthcare professionals on our travels. First, get audit professionals more involved in developing national audits – this will undoubtedly enhance their quality. Second, improve clarity at a national level: NCAAG, NAGG, NCAF etc – simplification is the key! Third, those that run surveys and questionnaires must report results back to the audit community in a more timely fashion. Audit professionals often give their views, but rarely gain feedback! Fourth, fresh impetus and more funding needs to be directed towards local audit, not least to prevent the continued migration of skilled staff away from the profession. Fifth and finally, it is essential that the current reinvigoration is successful. Those of us working in audit for 10 years or more have often been promised national databases of audits, more audit funding, etc, only for these to turn into false starts! It is vital that those overseeing and implementing the reinvigoration of clinical audit are: dynamic, inclusive, inspiring, communicative leaders.

CASC update webpages

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CASC are pleased to announce that we have updated our links and useful resources pages. There have been a number of important changes in relation to clinical audit over summer 2008 and you will now be able to find out more details relating to the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership and the National Clinical Audit Advisory Group by following the relevant links. It is sad to report that both the South East Clinical Effectiveness Network (SECEN) and the Saferhealthcare websites have been closed down, but we have provided new links to useful resources to assist those of you involved in clinical audit work. We have also updated our community section, which gives details of regional audit networks and groups.

HQIP visit CASNET group and provide details of their future plans

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Alison Percival (Communications Manager) and Jabeen Haque (Quality Improvement Facilitator) attended the East Midlands CASNET group on 2nd September in Loughborough and outlined HQIP’s future plans. HQIP have a considerable remit and their three main current aims are (1) to manage/develop NCAPOP, (2) provide support for local audit and (3) promote audit to professionals and members of the public. At the meeting, HQIP announced that they plan to become a “one-stop shop” for clinical audit and that their new website will be available in October. HQIP hope to work collaboratively with a wide range of organisations and announced that they will be holding a National Audit Summit in November 2008 and a two-day conference in Birmingham in April 2009. HQIP also announced ambitious plans to become leaders in quality assurance beyond clinical audit and intentions to bid for contracts outside England and Wales. It was also confirmed that HQIP are a not for profit organisation working towards becoming a registered charity.

CASC patient safety work featured in the Health Service Journal

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Collaborative work looking at the quality of significant event audits reported via the Quality and Outcomes Framework involving CASC, the National Patient Safety Agency and Nottingham Teaching PCT has been featured in the Health Service Journal. The article focuses on the lack of patient safety incidents reported to the NPSA from general practice and highlights CASC’s innovative research work with Karen Morgan which involved a comprehensive review of 141 SEA reports. The work highlighted important themes in relation to SEA reporting and Ms Morgan commented “there is an opportunity for practices to share from their experiences, to minimise recurrence of ‘familiar’ events”. The article appears on pages 23-24 of the Health Service Journal from 18th September 2008.

HQIP announce latest member of their reinvigoration team

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Following the announcement on 12th August that HQIP have appointed Darren Thorne as national lead for quality improvement, it has been revealed that on the 22nd September 2008 Jabeen Haque will be joining Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnerships (HQIP) Local Quality Improvement Team in the role of Quality Improvement Facilitator. Jabeen will support the work towards reinvigorating clinical audit locally. Jabeen has worked within the field of the health and social care for the past ten years, in particular in the NHS for the past six years in the area of clinical governance. Jabeen is also currently studying part-time for an MSc qualification in Risk Management. For more details relating to the work of HQIP visit their website via www.hqip.org.uk

Darren Thorne appointed National Lead for Local Quality Improvement

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On 12th August 2008, the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) announced that Darren Thorne has been appointed national lead for local quality improvement. Darren will be responsible for driving forward the revitalisation of local clinical audit and will report to Robin Burgess (HQIP CEO). As part of his new role, Darren will provide day-to-day management of the quality improvement team and also oversee the development of a library of resources for quality improvement. Darren joins HQIP from Redbridge PCT where he was Assistant Director and over the last 8 years he has been an influential member of the National Audit and Governance Group. To read the news release in full, click here. (Word Format)

More details released in relation to NCAAG

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The National Clinical Audit Advisory Group (NCAAG) have released more information relating to their members and initial work. The group met in London for the first time on 28th May and minutes of the meeting are now available on line. In brief the group discussed: existing NCAPOP commitments, plans for the NCAAG website, NCAAG policy issues, scoping reports on new national audits, current clinical audit scoping studies and a draft business plan for NCAPOP. The group have also developed a comprehensive code of practice which provides important details in relation to role of members, declarations of interest, etc. For more information, visit the NCAAG section of the DH website via this link.

CASC present at North East reinvigoration event

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The Clinical Audit Support Centre presented on how to effectively involve patients in clinical audit at the North East’s reinvigoration event that took place near Darlington on 25th June. The keynote address was delivered by Dr Jonathan Potter (Board member of HQIP) and focused on the new national arrangements for clinical audit. As part of his presentation, Dr Potter announced that the average NCAPOP audit currently costs approximately £120,000 per year and he informed those present that the recent HQIP survey has identified mental health as the top ranking priority for NCAPOP. The day was well supported with over 60 local audit and healthcare professionals in attendance. Concerns raised by audience members included the ever-increasing number of national audits that need to be completed and the complexities involved in effectively engaging patients in the clinical audit process. Mike Laker (Medical Advisor to the North East Strategic Health Authority) concluded the event by suggesting that a network should be established for the North East to help further reinvigorate clinical audit across the region.

Important developments relating to clinical audit

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There have been a number of important developments relating to clinical audit at a national level. First, Robin Burgess was recently appointed CEO of the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP). Robin officially started work in mid-July and joined HQIP having worked previously in a range of roles relating to Mental Health and addiction services. Robin and HQIP are in the process of building a team to help promote clinical audit both locally and nationally. Second, a number of key surveys have recently been conducted in relation to clinical audit. HQIP have consulted widely in relation to the future prioritisation of national audits and more details can be found via www.hqip.org.uk. In addition, the Department of Health commissioned Frontline consultants to review clinical audit delivery in the UK. As part of this work, those with an interest in clinical audit are invited to complete a short questionnaire, available via survey monkey. Click here to take part.

Views on clinical audit required as part of new DH initiative

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Martin Ferris (NAGG chair and NCAAG member) has recently contacted CASC asking us to publicise a new survey on clinical audit that is being carried out by Frontline consultants (in conjunction with the Department of Health). This is an important piece of work and all clinical audit professionals and those with a remit for clinical audit are encouraged to share their views and opinions by contributing to the survey (follow link to survey monkey below). The purpose of the survey is to provide information in response to questions posed by the Department of Health around the organisation and extent of local clinical audit activity. There are 23 questions to answer, looking at a range of areas, including: agenda for change bandings, audit training activity, how audits are planned/reported, links between national and local audit, how audit can be revitalised, recommendations for support from DH, etc. CASC see this as a key undertaking and we would urge all of you with an interest in audit to take 10 minutes to contribute and make your views known to the DH. To access the survey, click here.

CASC present at North East reinvigoration event

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The Clinical Audit Support Centre presented on how to effectively involve patients in clinical audit at the North East’s reinvigoration event that took place near Darlington on 25th June. The keynote address was delivered by Dr Jonathan Potter (Board member of HQIP) and focused on the new national arrangements for clinical audit. As part of his presentation, Dr Potter announced that the average NCAPOP audit currently costs approximately £120,000 per year and he informed those present that the recent HQIP survey has identified mental health as the top ranking priority for NCAPOP. The day was well supported with over 60 local audit and healthcare professionals in attendance. Concerns raised by audience members included the ever-increasing number of national audits that need to be completed and the complexities involved in effectively engaging patients in the clinical audit process. Mike Laker (Medical Advisor to the North East Strategic Health Authority) concluded the event by suggesting that a network should be established for the North East to help further reinvigorate clinical audit across the region.

Take part in HQIP’s future prioritisation survey for national audits

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HQIP are seeking your help with choosing topics for scoping studies for new clinical audit projects that might start from 2009/10. HQIP invite clinicians, clinical managers and clinical audit staff working in the NHS to contribute via an online survey available via www.hqip.org.uk. The survey allows those taking part to select up to five local priority topics that should be considered for national audit status. The deadline for the survey was initially 14th May 2008, but there have been problems with disseminating details of this work to staff and it was acknowledged at the reinvigoration event in Taunton on 15th May that few audit professionals were aware of the survey. With this in mind, it is encouraging to see that the deadline has been extended, although the final date for online returns is not known. CASC encourage audit staff to familiarise themselves with the work of HQIP and to contribute to the survey, which is very quick to complete.

CASC audit guide featured in Nursing Management

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The Clinical Audit Support Centre featured in a recent edition of the Nursing Management journal (Volume 15, Number 1 – April 2008). Tracy and Stephen’s five page article provides nursing staff with a detailed insight into clinical audit and provides useful hints and tips on how to undertake a successful audit project. The article includes full details of the clinical audit process, details of potential topics for audit, an audit scoring grid, ten tips for a successful audit project, plus details of websites that nursing professionals may find helpful when undertaking audit work. The journal is published by the RCN Publishing Company and more information can be obtained by visiting www.nursingmanagement.co.uk

NCAAG members named

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The Appointments Commission have recently announced details of who has been appointed to the new National Clinical Audit Advisory Group that is headed by Professor Nick Black. Members are as follows with the relevant posts filled in parenthesis: Mr Mark Gritten (NHS Management), Mr Daniel Keenan (Regulation), Mr Andrew Middleton (Lay), Dr Jan Van der Meulen (Statistics), Mr Martin Ferris (Clinical Audit), Professor Pauline Ong (Research) and Mr Michael Peake (Health Professional). NCAAG are currently looking for members to represent nursing, social care and the voluntary health sector to complete the group. CASC expect more information on NCAAG members to be made available in due course including details of their qualifications and work to date in clinical audit. CASC would like to take this opportunity to wish the group well in the important work that they will be undertaking.

April 2008 signals new changes for clinical audit

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On 1st April 2008 guardianship of the National Clinical Audit and Patients Outcome Programme transferred 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. HQIP are currently looking for a Communications Manager with a starting salary of not less than £35,000. Meanwhile the new National Clinical Audit Advisory Group led by Professor Nick Black is taking shape with six group members now confirmed – see “NCAAG members named” for more details.

North West Regional Audit Group added to Community

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Following on from a number of recent conference presentations given by the CASC team highlighting the apparent lack of an active clinical audit community in the UK, we have launched a new section to our website called “Community”. This includes details of national and regional audit networks, advice on sharing your work and details of where to look for audit and governance jobs. The community section also includes access to previous CASC E Newsletters. Community is updated regularly and in March we added details of the North West Regional Audit Group, formed in 2002.

Department of Health announcement on clinical audit

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On 31st January 2008, the Department of Health announced a number of new and important arrangements in relation to clinical audit. Following a lengthy procurement process, the management of the National Clinical Audit Programme (NCAPOP) has been awarded to a consortium involving the Royal College of Nursing, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the Long Term Conditions Alliance. DH also announced that the new Chair of the National Clinical Audit Advisory Group will be Professor Nick Black. Professor Black has a strong background in research and was elected as the first Chair of the UK Health Services Research Network in 2005. The DH also reiterated that an additional £3.2 million funding per year will be made available for clinical audit, starting in 2007/8. To read the announcement in full, click here.

Deadline for PFBP case studies is now closed

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CASC would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have kindly taken time to register audit case study for the new version of Principles for Best Practice in Clinical Audit during the course of 2007. Almost 40 audit projects have been submitted from a wide range of healthcare sectors. We are now in the process of assessing each case study and authors will receive comments by mid-February 2008. The deadline for submissions has now passed (31st December 2007) and therefore we are unable to consider any further submissions received after this date.

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