Your GP Surgery and Clinical Audit
What is Clinical Audit?
Clinical Audit supports your GP surgery to understand whether the treatment and care they provide for you is of high quality and in line with required standards. This, in turn, helps them to decide what they need to do to make it better.
It is carried out by the audit team at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, who use agreed standards from organisations such as the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
How does the audit help patients?
Clinical Audit helps to ensure that patients receive a timely and accurate diagnosis and that their quality of life is improved through the right support. It has the potential to save lives, for example, by ensuring that treatments are diagnosed early so that the right treatment can get started as soon as possible.
How does Clinical Audit help GPs?
Clinical Audit helps GPs to understand the health needs of their patients more accurately. It can identify patients who are at risk of developing diseases and can prevent conditions from becoming more serious.
It also helps to improve patient safety by ensuring that good quality data is used. This helps the people who plan healthcare services to look ahead more effectively and ensure that resources are used effectively.
How is the privacy of patients protected?
The Clinical Audit team only ever uses anonymised patient information. Patient names are always removed using an automated process.
Example 1: how does this work for diabetes?
The Clinical Audit team uses national recommendations to check that patients are checked regularly against eight standards of care. These include cholesterol levels, foot problems, blood pressure and blood sugars, and all the results have to be recorded.
GP surgeries share this anonymised information with the Clinical Audit team. After analysis the team gives the surgery its results, showing how well the practice is doing to achieve the recommendations. If any patients have missed out on the recommended level of care, this feedback helps the practice to take any necessary actions.
Example 2: how does this work for dementia?
Clinical Audit helps to ensure that people with dementia are being identified and given the treatment, care and support that they, their families and carers need. It has helped to highlight how certain drugs can be used most effectively to make sure that the most appropriate medicine is used in the best way possible.
The Clinical Audit team follows strict guidelines to ensure that the information about patients it receives is anonymised and analysed securely and confidentially. This means that details such as your name and address are not shared. NHS numbers are used only to enable GPs to identify patients who need additional care.
If you do not want information about you to be used in this way, you can opt out by contacting your surgery.