Monday, 27 September 2010

Clinical Governance: doing the right thing

I attended a workshop on clinical governance on 23 September, hosted by CLIST and held at the Bloomsbury Healthcare Library. I decided to go more out of duty than interest as clinical governance is one of those things I find it very hard to get excited about. I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard however and found the session much more interesting than expected. Our speaker, Nada Schiavone, who is currently the Patient Safety Lead at NHS London, was a very engaging speaker with much experience in both clinical and managerial work. Her presentation was peppered with real examples of situations she has faced and she was very candid about her concerns regarding the changes currently planned for the NHS and how they will affect patient safety and clinical governance.

The course consisted of a presentation about clinical governance itself (very simply put, clinical governance is about doing the right thing, at the right time, in the right way, in the right place for the right patient) and how it fits in with the aims and objectives of the NHS. This was followed by her thoughts on how NHS library services could have a positive impact on clinical governance. Finally we split into groups and worked through some scenarios. As part of the presentation Nada asked us to guess the average cost of litigation claims against the NHS costs the average acute Trust and it turned out to be £21 million a year – that is £21 million per Trust, per year! So, very important to get things right, obviously.
As far as library involvement in clinical governance, Nada proposed the following questions:

- Are you on the right committees for supporting evidence-based practice?
- Are you visible?
- What evidence base can the library produce to support integrated governance (a fancier word for clinical governance, which includes governance other than just clinical)
- What information does the service provide for patients?
- How do you demonstrate support for audit/research projects?
- Can you help with presenting data? Writing a report? Publishing a piece of work?

She also stressed the importance of being aware of service redesigns and aligning library resources to Trust strategies and staff needs, all of which sounded very familiar! I went away with a lot to think about and will possibly now be able to summon a little more excitement about clinical governance…

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