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CANDOUR - Issue 3 - April 1999

The newsletter of the ASA/ JCALC Clinical Effectiveness Committee and the ASA Clinical Effectiveness Project

In this issue :

Clinical Excellence ’99 – Spreading Good Practice

Information on the Internet

Evidence for Change II – A survey of UK ambulance services

We want your contributions

Issue 2 CANDOUR INDEX Issue 4

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Clinical Excellence ’99 – Spreading Good Practice

Another key date in the conference calendar is 8th & 9th December 1999. The first conference and exhibition of The National Institute for Clinical Excellence entitled Clinical Excellence ’99 – Spreading Good Practice will take place in Harrogate. It will build on the success of the previous two conferences, hosted by the National Centre for Clinical Audit (NCCA) and strengthen collaboration and the spread of good practice within the health service.

The programme will bring together expertise and best practice in quality improvement, which will benefit the whole of the NHS. The focus will be on clinical effectiveness, clinical audit and related matters such as the links to clinical governance. Approximately half of the presentations at the parallel sessions will concentrate on projects carried out in the NHS and the organisers are asking for your help in contributing to a really interesting and valuable conference. Last year’s conference organised by the NCCA attracted over 1100 participants, making it one of the most important dates in the NHS calendar.

UK ambulance service Chief Executives and Clinical Audit/ Effectiveness leads have recently received a call for projects for presentation and posters. Why not submit an abstract either as an oral or poster presentation and share your expertise and experience.

Examples of change to patient care involving any quality improvement activity from which others might learn (e.g. Audit, Integrated Care Pathways, Guidelines, IT developments or service re-organisation etc.) would be worthy of consideration. The closing date for submission of abstracts is 15 April 1999.

Do give this consideration and promote the quality improvement initiatives, which are being undertaken in the NHS and more especially in the UK Ambulance Services today. Help to show that clinically effective and appropriate pre-hospital care can be an essential building block and play a key role in effective patient care throughout the NHS.

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Information on the Internet

Outlined here are two of the most informative websites relating to ambulance services and clinical audit/effectiveness. Both sites have numerous links to other ambulance and/or health-related sites making them the best starting points for any search.

Official ASA Website - http://www.ambex.co.uk

A couple of developments have taken place on this website. Firstly, several discussion groups were launched on 25th February 1999 to act as a forum through which ambulance service issues can be discussed and added too at any time. You can add your own discussion group or topic and wait for others to reply. Secondly, a separate page covering the issues raised by the ASA Clinical Effectiveness Project will soon be added. This will outline the project, provide updates on progress, list forthcoming clinical audit/ clinical effectiveness/ clinical governance events, and have a page showing the text from Candour Newsletters. A clinical effectiveness & governance discussion group will also be available in the future. There will be a direct link to the website of the National Centre for Clinical Audit (http://www.ncca.org.uk).

National Centre for Clinical Audit - http://www.ncca.org.uk

This is a very valuable source of information on clinical audit/ effectiveness/ governance. It holds a database of projects, which have lead to improvements in the quality of clinical care. These projects have been submitted by NHS organisations and are therefore extremely relevant. The web site will provide evidence or references to audit projects and results plus a comprehensive list of links to other health related sites. This includes free access to Medline (an electronic library of medical research and references) and the Cochrane Centre (a database of reviews, references and project groups relating to healthcare). Many of the links provide project information, research findings or methodologies, and training material for the development of clinical audit programmes.

Access to the internet is not essential, the NCCA accept phone or fax requests for database searches they can be contacted at BMA House, Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9JP. Tel: 0171 3836451, Fax: 0171 3836373 or e-mail: [email protected]

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Evidence for Change II – A survey of UK ambulance services

Thank you to all those services that have responded. A draft of the survey findings will be presented to the ASA/JCALC Clinical Effectiveness Committee on 16th March 1999. Initial results show there is a great deal of good work being done but that direction and assistance is sought by many Services. When the results of the survey are evaluated it will enable a specific strategy to be developed to allow the ASA Clinical Effectiveness Project to prioritise its work and target areas highlighted by the survey as needing particular attention.

A leaflet recently circulated to all UK ambulance service Chief Executives and Clinical Audit/ Effectiveness Leads outlines the aims of the project and the role of the ASA/JCALC Clinical Effectiveness Committee. It explains the relationships between the committee and the development of clinical effectiveness, clinical governance and clinical audit within the Ambulance Service.

The results of the survey and any actions recommended will be available in the next edition of Candour.

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We want your contributions

As initial responses from the above survey have shown an enormous amount of good clinical audit is being undertaken by UK ambulance services. You are invited to share your experiences by submitting a piece about a project, any problems experienced and any solutions found, including all other issues related to quality improvement or best practice. This will ensure that any audit result or quality issue can be shared and collaboration and comparison encouraged.

For any general questions you would like raised concerning clinical audit, clinical effectiveness or clinical governance please write to the editorial panel or to the ASA Clinical Effectiveness Project Manager (see address below).

Candour is here to provide a Question & Answer service. If you don’t have a specific question but would like advice on certain issues or would like to comment on a topical subject, drop us a line and we can bring it to the attention of UK Ambulance Services and prompt a debate.

If there is enough interest, future issues of Candour could contain useful audit tips, for example, selecting appropriate sample size, use of appropriate statistical techniques and conducting a critical appraisal of the literature.

Use this newsletter – it can put you in touch with all UK ambulance services and beyond!

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