What is clinical governance?
Clinical governance is the framework through which the NHS organisations are accountable for continuously improving the quality and safety of local health services and promoting excellence in patient care. While the term 'clinical governance' is relatively recent, the framework encompasses elements of quality and safety that will be familiar to professionals and staff delivering primary care services.
  • Patient and public involvement

  • Quality of patient information. How patients can have a say in their own treatment and how they (and patient organisations) can have a say in the way that services are provided. Examples include: comment box, health or service information, clear complaints procedure, customer representative.
  • Managing risks

  • Having systems, processes and procedures in place to ensure we monitor and minimise the risks to patients and staff and to learn from mistakes. Examples include: a well organised environment, near miss and incident reporting.
  • Clinical audit

  • Regular systematic review of procedures against defined standards. Clinical audit should lead to action to address any identified problems.
  • Use of information

  • The systems in place to collect and interpret clinical information and to use it to monitor, plan and improve the quality of patient care.
  • Staffing and staff management

  • This covers the recruitment, management and development of staff. It also includes the promotion of good working conditions and effective methods of working. Examples include: registration checks, flexible working practices, regular appraisal and review of performance.
  • Education, training and continuing professional development

  • This aspect of clinical governance covers the support available to enable staff to be competent in doing their jobs, whilst developing their skills and the degree to which staff are up to date with developments in their field.
  • Clinical effectiveness

  • Ensuring that the approaches and treatments used are based on the best available evidence, for example, ensuring staff have access to relevant literature or national/local guidelines.
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