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The Ambulance Service Association
ASA/JCALC Clinical Effectiveness Committee

Clinical Governance in the NHS ambulance service

Reference Pack
Update - December 1999


Published by the Ambulance Service Association National Clinical Effectiveness Project

Ambulance Service Association: Clinical Governance Reference Pack
Update – December 1999

The Clinical Governance Reference Pack was published by the Ambulance Service Association in September 1999. As stated it was version one of an ongoing development which will be updated periodically as new material relevant to ambulance services is made available to share.

This bulletin describes some of the initiatives undertaken since the original document was published:

NHS Clinical Governance Support Team

Having met with and established strong links to the NHS Clinical Governance Support Team, the ASA National Clinical Effectiveness Project (ASA NCEP) invited every ambulance service to put forward representatives of their Trust to attend the Team’s ‘Learn as you go’ course to assist in the implementation of clinical governance.

The course is conducted over 9 months based on an initial induction of 2 days with one day workshops to update skills and share lessons learned whilst establishing a baseline of readiness; drawing up recommendations; implementing changes; and measuring against agreed outcomes. The course will empower individuals to assist in making the changes required by clinical governance. Several ambulance services have already registered but the rolling programme is fast being booked up. Call the hotline now on 0171 2105629 or contact the ASA NCEP for more details.

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What you should know about clinical governance

This is an information leaflet produced by Scriptographic Publications Ltd. It is aimed at front-line staff to give them an understanding of how clinical governance affects them in their every day work and their role in quality improvement. It is an easy read with plenty of cartoon illustrations. The main headings dealt with in the 15 page leaflet include:

  • What is clinical governance?
  • Why should I learn about it?
  • Quality improvement is a key part of clinical governance.
  • Clinical governance can help improve performance.
  • Clinical governance may involve new ways of thinking.
  • You play a key role.
  • Learn to be an effective team player.
  • Open communication is vital for team success.
  • Work actively with your patients and clients.
  • Continue your professional development.
  • Clinical governance helps ensure quality care.

More details about this leaflet are available from the ASA NCEP.

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ASA Clinical Governance Newsletter

To keep everyone up to date with the latest clinical governance information the ASA will shortly be producing a newsletter specifically to deal with these issues. This will enable CANDOUR to concentrate on clinical improvement issues and ensure those who need to know about clinical governance initiatives are kept informed. The newsletter will outline the latest developments and preview additions to the ASA Clinical Governance Reference Pack.

In order to be successful and to maintain the momentum of change relating to clinical governance issues it is vitally important that ambulance services contribute details of their local initiatives to promote the sharing of good practice and to offer support and advice to others.

Again send your contributions to the ASA NCEP.

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Clinical Governance on the internet

The ASA Clinical Governance Reference Pack is now available on the internet. As part of the NHSWeb site on clinical governance, the Reference Pack now informs the wider NHS about how clinical governance is being adopted in the UK ambulance service. The internet address for the main NHS clinical governance site is as follows (this can only be accessed as part of the NHSWeb):


Also, the ASA NCEP will soon have its own web site where the Clinical Governance Reference Pack will be available to everyone. The site will also have all the back editions of CANDOUR, the newsletter of the ASA/JCALC Clinical Effectiveness Committee, and all other publications and presentations produced by the ASA NCEP. As soon as the site is launched details will be sent to all UK ambulance services.

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Local initiatives to share nationally

One of the main objectives of the ASA Clinical Governance Reference Pack was to promote sharing of information and good practice to ensure ambulance services do not have to ‘reinvent the wheel’.
The ambulance services of the Northern & Yorkshire NHSE Region have adopted this ethos. They are currently working to produce a joint template for reporting clinical governance at Trust Board level and for Trust Annual Reports. Two main themes have been established:

  • How do you know quality of care has been improved?
  • How have patients benefited?

Both of these lend themselves to the development of a set of ambulance service indicators for quality of care provided. When shared nationally these indicators could allow for clinical performance benchmarking between all UK ambulance services.

They have also agreed, through the regional ASA Council, to share their baseline assessments of capacity and capability to ensure variations in practice across the region are reduced and that lessons can be learned.

The ASA NCEP will act to ensure these issues are raised at a national level. This will allow the co-ordination of developments and the dissemination of relevant information to all interested parties.

Let the ASA NCEP know of any local initiatives which have wider national implications or will allow for a co-ordinated approach to clinical governance.

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Stuart Nicholls - National Clinical Effectiveness Project Manager
Ambulance Service Association
c/o Kent Ambulance NHS Trust, Heath Road, Coxheath, Maidstone. Kent ME17 4BG
Tel/Fax: 01622 664929 Email:
[email protected]

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