The Importance Of Clinical Governance

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What is clinical governance? Clinical governance is defined as: ‘a framework through which NHS organisations are accountable for continuously improving the quality of their services and safeguarding high standards of care by creating an environment in which excellence in clinical care can flourish’ (NHS Executive1999). A more succinct definition is offered by Lilley and Lambden (1999) who state that clinical governance is ‘doing anything and everything to maximise quality’ in the health service.. The main components of clinical governance 1. Accountability As individuals we are accountable for our practice, but so are our colleagues and managers. Concerns about the performance of colleagues should be raised with the appropriate managers. Governance requires teams to recognise their roles and be accountable for what they do and how they do it. There is then a corporate responsibility to address these concerns. All nursing staff must ensure that systems run smoothly, for patients’ value. However, there are obstacles to overcome, including the historical divisions of power and the hierarchical nature of many professions. We must act responsibly and sensitively when questioning the practice of colleagues and ensure that there is an explicit framework for questioning practice, and a culture in which counselling and support are alternatives to disciplinary action. Organization responsibilities need to be clear and policies must identify any

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