Clinical Audit

Clinical audit is a way to measure and improve the quality of clinical care. We work with the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) to increase the impact clinical audit has on healthcare quality. The following headings should be used in undertaking an audit.

  1. Title
  2. Reason for the audit
  3. Criterion or criteria to be measured
  4. Standard(s) set
  5. Preparation and planning
  6. Results and date of data collection one
  7. Description of change(s) implemented
  8. Results and date of data collection two
  9. Reflections

A practical two page guide addressing each of these stages is available.

Clinical audit guidance [PDF]

Below are some examples of clinical audits, shared with the kind consent of their authors.

Lipids [PDF] - The aim of this audit was to increase the number of patients with cardiovascular disease who were achieving the lipid targets set by NICE Guidance CG67. It was produced by Joanna Bircher, clinical support fellow for Quality Improvement, CIRC, in 2009 at her practice in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester.

Medicines reconciliation [PDF] - This audit looks at whether changes made to drug therapy on discharge from hospital have been updated on the practice system. It was produced by Alan Clauson while a trainee in Aberdeen.

NSAIDs [PDF] - This poster, produced by Sarah Hutchinson, a medical student at Warwick Medical School, won Best in Category (Audit) at the 2014 RCGP Annual Conference. It concerns the co-prescription of gastroprotective agents with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories in patients at high risk of gastrointestinal complications.

Audit and revalidation

Audit is required as part of your revalidation process.

The RCGP has a range of resources to support your revalidation, including the RCGP Guide to the Revalidation of General Practitioners (Version 9.0, Sept 2014).

Internal audits

Safeguarding Children: A multi-site general practice-based audit 

Community-Based Surgery Audit 

External audits

RCGP contributes as a stakeholder to a number of external audits.

National audit of continence care

National audit of dementia care in general hospitals

National audit of schizophrenia

National review of asthma deaths

National COPD audit

National audit of learning disabilities - feasibility study

National diabetes audit

National audit of psychological therapies 

Epilepsy12 national audit

Useful links 

NICE have developed clinical audits as one of the range of implementation tools they offer to support their guidance. Enter the clinical area and 'clinical audit' to find the one you need.

SOAR has been designed to aid Scottish GPs in preparation for their appraisal.

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