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What is clinical audit?

Clinical Audit is a technique used by care providers to find out if they are delivering care in line with local and national standards. Clinical audit results tell care providers and their patients how well a service is run and where improvements could be made. The aim of clinical audit is to ensure services are provided to the highest quality standards possible to improve outcomes for patients.

A nationally accepted definition of clinical audit is: Clinical audit is a quality improvement cycle that involves measurement of the effectiveness of healthcare against agreed and proven standards for high quality, and taking action to bring practice in line with these standards so as to improve the quality of care and health outcomes. (HQIP ‘New Principles for Best Practice in Clinical Audit’. Radcliffe Publishing, 2011)

Sharing good clinical practice

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust is a member of the National Quality Improvement and Clinical Audit Network (NQICAN). Our clinical audit staff meet with clinical audit staff from other NHS organisations to share best practice, receive training and hear updates from NHS England on the latest clinical audit news. Clinical audit staff provide up to date advice to care providers on to how to conduct effective clinical audits of their care.

The Clinical Audit Annual Programme

Care providers can complete a clinical audit on any aspect of the care they provide. Usually, care providers check to see if their care meets national standards such as those set by NICE (National Institute of Clinical Excellence) or local standards such as hospital policy. The clinical audit programme undertaken at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust each year is a mix of local and national audits involving all clinical services provided by the trust. Each year over 300 clinical audits are carried out by a variety of staff.

Guide for patients in understanding clinical audit reports

When a clinical audit has been undertaken, care providers write up their findings in a report and if necessary, produce an action plan to show any improvements that are required.
This document provides patients with a basic understanding of Clinical Audit Reports.

Further information about the outcomes of our clinical audit programme can be found in our Quality Accounts.

How to contact us

For more information about clinical audit, please contact the Clinical Audit Team on email