John Morley, CEO of Formic Solutions, outlines his thoughts on the year ahead for patient experience and clinical audit.
The year ahead will see greater exposure of the need to involve patients in quality and service improvement in the NHS, especially as sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) are out to public consultation. These plans are already under scrutiny for a perceived lack of public involvement in their development, and some include radical proposals on shifting care from a hospital to a community and home setting. If this means possible closures for accident and emergency departments, then the public may take the opportunity to challenge STPs in the law courts. It would be a very blunt approach to making people’s voices heard.
Ideally, providers will look to embed patient and citizen feedback into service redesign, and take people’s views into accounts as they go forward with much-needed plans for change.
In terms of clinical audit, we expect to see even greater use of data to drive health quality improvement, made possible by a range of technologies that will capture data based around current approaches to care delivery. The clinical audit world is changing, with the Health Quality Improvement Partnership taking on some of the high-level advisory role of the National Advisory Group on Clinical Audit and Enquiries (NAGCAE). Hopefully this will further embed the use of technology in supporting clinical audit and its quality improvement ambitions.
Meanwhile, there is an active, clinically-driven clinical audit community that is applying its expertise, and supporting technology, to show the impact that clinical audit can make on service improvement, at both a national and local level.
In short, clinicians will continue to lead the way in terms of data-driven quality improvement; patients should be part of the same journey. It will be interesting to see how this manifests itself over the coming months.