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Clinical governance

 CMO ‘s Update 22 - a communication to all doctors from the Chief Medical Officer


Clinical governance: quality in the new NHS was issued to the National Health Service (NI-IS) on 16 March 1999. It provides the detailed guidance promised in A first class service2, and builds on the responses to that consultation exercises.


The guidance provides a vision for the next five years, identifying the key features that all NHS organisations will be expected to demonstrate. It takes a developmental approach, focusing on the fundamental shift required to enable good clinical quality. The vision emphasises the need for a move to a culture of learning - an open and participative culture in which education, research and sharing of good practice thrive. It focuses in on the need for a commitment to quality - across the organisation -supported by clearly identified local resources. It reinforces the importance of multidisciplinary team-working, and the need for clear accountability to and by the NHS Trust Board. It also makes the important link to the need to work with users, carers and the public.


The guidance also makes the important links to other policies designed to modernise the NHS, in particular the need for integrated planning, having the right workforce n place, access to good information ~nd good research to support clinical lecisions.


The document recognises the need to deal with poor performance; tackling it early, and learning from experience. Clinical governance is about improving quality - not just about managing poor performance. The guidance focuses on the need to improve the quality of services of the majority, by fostering a culture that enables learning and improvement, so that quality infuses all aspects of the organisation’ s work.

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