The standard definition of clinical audit, and that endorsed by both NICE and the Care Quality Commission is that: "Clinical audit is a quality improvement process that seeks to improve the patient care and outcomes through systematic review of care against explicit criteria and the implementation of change".
Clinical audit was introduced to the NHS as a quality improvement process in 1989 through the Department of Health White Paper entitled "Working for Patients". Since this time clinical audit has become a firmly embedded part of the NHS landscape and is a key element of the clinical governance framework.
South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is committed to continually improving clinical practice and the standards of its service delivery and therefore acknowledges the importance of clinical audit activities as a vehicle of driving forward excellence in care. Likewise the Trust acknowledges the importance of and need to maintain clear links between the planning and reporting of its clinical audit and its risk and performance management frameworks.
The Trust recognises that its clinical audit programme can only be achieved as part of its overall governance framework arrangements and therefore this policy document has been developed to provide robust guidance for all staff undertaking clinical audit activities as part of their day-to-day working practice.
Link to the full Policy:
Link to the Equalites Impact Analysis: