Clinical quality: are we bovvered?

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Abstract:

Sixty years on from the founding of the NHS, clinicians and patients alike aspire to care of the highest quality. There are many things that professional bodies and regulators of healthcare, working together with patients and individual clinicians, could do to raise quality. The 'Annual Health Check' of English NHS organisations that the Healthcare Commission has developed since its inception in 2004 is increasingly sophisticated, and in 2008–09 will give a clearer focus to clinical quality. Taking account of standards published by central Government, the Commission has favoured an approach that exploits self-assessment and local systems of governance. This is supplemented by screening and surveillance, as well as selective visits to a subset of providers and commissioners. Far from being a burdensome distraction, good regulation represents a tremendous opportunity for clinicians of all disciplines. The Healthcare Commission and its successor, the Care Quality Commission, have been working with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and individual clinical bodies to develop an even better understanding of what matters in the measurement of clinical quality, and to identify how best to move forward.

Keywords: CLINICAL ENGAGEMENT; CLINICAL LEADERSHIP; CLINICAL QUALITY; NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE; PRODUCTIVE RELATIONSHIPS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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