What is clinical audit?

Clinical audit is a way to find out if healthcare is being provided in line with standards and lets care providers and patients know where their service is doing well, and where there could be improvements.  The aim is to allow quality improvement to take place where it will be most helpful and will improve outcomes for patients.  Clinical audits can look at care nationwide (national clinical audits) and local clinical audits can also be performed in trusts, hospitals or GP practices anywhere healthcare is provided.  Each year a Quality Account is published by the Trust to summarise how we are performing against our strategy.  The trust has a strategy in place for improving patient outcomes and part of this includes a programme of clinical audit and effectiveness.  The most recent information can be found in the Improving Patient Outcomes Strategy 2015- 2018.

How the gynaecology team uses audit for the benefit of our patients

As part of the Trust’s improving patient outcomes strategy, we plan ahead to perform clinical audits that will be undertaken in gynaecology to demonstrate if we are meeting the standards and outcomes we expect.  These are some of the things we have done to make our services better as a result of audits we have performed:

  • We appointed two consultants who lead our early pregnancy and gynaecology emergency unit so that there is senior experience to support you and our nurses and trainee doctors
  • We developed completely new guidelines to ensure that we give you the best and most modern evidence-based care and treatment if you might have a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or other gynaecological emergency
  • We introduced modern alternatives to surgery such as methotrexate to treat ectopic pregnancy so that you can be treated safely without having surgery
  • We increased the numbers of ultrasound appointments to improve our ability to offer you a scan on the same day if you might have a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy
  • We introduced Word catheters to treat Bartholin’s abscess so that you can go home with quick relief without needing an operation
  • We introduced training and competencies for nurses and doctors in our early pregnancy and gynaecology emergency unit to reduce waiting times and ensure that you receive sympathetic support
  • We introduced a urogynaecology MDT (multi-disciplinary team) meeting so that we ensure we are offering you the best and most appropriate treatment for prolapse and incontinence
  • We appointed specialist nurses in urogynaecology, colposcopy, early pregnancy and pregnancy advisory services to support you and give you a better experience
  • We allocated more resources to the pregnancy advisory service so that we can see sooner
  • We introduced a medical termination of pregnancy service to offer women more choice
  • We increased our colposcopy resources so that you are seen sooner and get your results sooner
  • We introduced comprehensive electronic fail-safe procedures in colposcopy to ensure that we don’t make mistakes and you get the appointment you need
  • We conducted patient satisfaction surveys which showed a high degree of satisfaction in women attending our colposcopy and hysteroscopy clinics. The surveys showed that women had confidence in our staff, didn’t find the procedures too uncomfortable and felt they had been treated kindly.


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