A department that works quietly behind the scenes to improve patient care and safety at Cambridge University Hospitals will be thrust into the limelight this month.
Between 20 and 24 November the Clinical Audit team is to take part in National Clinical Audit Awareness Week, which enables trusts to showcase best practice and encourages greater collaboration.
The nine-strong team is marking the week with an invitation to colleagues from other trusts to join a dedicated training day at Addenbrooke’s on 20 November supported by experts in the field.
The team, normally tucked away in offices outside the main hospital complex, will put their work on a display in the Addenbrooke’s Treatment Centre atrium, and invite passers-by to join in with audit-based games and quizzes.
They will share learning, via live computer streaming, with a ‘Quality Improvement Theatre’ at the prestigious ‘Patient First Conference’ at London's ExCeL on 21 and 22 November.
The team will champion ‘quality improvement methodology’, which involves using smaller, but more frequent, audits to show in real-time how business change affects patient experience and safety. The results can be morale boosting to staff, because they see more quickly the impact of their work.
The job of the Clinical Audit team, headed by Trust clinical audit lead Mr Richard Hardwick, is to improve patient care and outcomes through systematic review of care against explicit clinical standards.
Greatest achievements this year include the development of a new module on an IT system, called DATIX, which further supports the management of clinical incidents, risks and complaints - all of which benefit the public.
They have worked to deadline on hundreds of audits supporting over 500 projects at CUH, which as a leading trauma, neurosurgical, emergency maternity, cancer and transplant centre, presents multiple and complex demands.
The success has enabled key team members to join the Q Fellowship - a national initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK, led by the Health Foundation and supported and co-funded by NHS Improvement.
Richard said: “We have completed clinical audits with very positive outcomes this year and the week provides an ideal opportunity to share that learning with other professionals and the wider public we serve. I am incredibly proud of the team.”
Clinical Audit and Effectiveness Lead, Josefina Gil-Moya, added: “We are a small, friendly team, but often people are not aware of the importance and scope of our work. This is a great opportunity to increase understanding among colleagues and network with others in our field from further afield.”
Head of Clinical Quality Assurance, Deirdre Miller, said: “Clinical Audit offers quality improvement and assurances process for the trust, It ensures compliance with clinical standards, identifies and minimises risk and improves outcomes for our service users.”