Clinical Governance

3457 words 14 pages
Critically analyse how clinical governance can ensure accountability of individuals and teams and that nursing practice is safe and of a high standard?
As Defined by Scally and Donaldson 1998, clinical governance is:

“A framework through which NHS organisations are accountable for continuously improving the quality of their services and safeguarding high standards of care by creating an environment in which excellence in clinical care will flourish” (NHS Executive, 1998).

The aim of the NHS is to ensure continuous improvement in the standards of clinical care, to prevent errors in clinical practice, to raise standards and improving outcomes offering access to a range of healthcare services (Freedom D, 2002). This paper intends to
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The concept of clinical effectiveness gained widespread acceptance within the health professions, and stimulated activity in producing guidelines and protocols to improve clinical-decision making.

Risk management (a component of clinical governance) was primarily considered a means of controlling litigation, which was a major worry for practitioners within Britain and the US. The late 1980’s and 1990’s saw a major change of emphasis (Vincent C 2001). Clinical audit became a requirement for all NHS hospitals. Community services and hospitals became organisations which are managed to bring clear accountability for quality improvements. The concept of this revolutionary approach to care in ensuring national standards gained widespread acceptance, stimulating policy development to improve clinical-decision making (Vincent C 2001). NHS Quality Improvement Scotland, clinical governance and risk management is at the heart of ensuring standards are set and maintained by healthcare professionals, while the responsibilities of healthcare professionals will be to provide high quality care by adhering to these standards. NHS Quality Improvement Scotland (NHS QIS) set up by the Scottish parliament in 2003 took the lead role in developing and improving quality of care and treatment delivered through NHS Scotland. In October 2005, the ‘National standards for clinical governance and risk management: achieving safe, effective,


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