Clinical governance is a new policy introduced by the UK government to improve quality of care in the National Health Service; it imposes a “duty of quality” on all NHS organisations, and aims to bring together managerial, organisational and clinical approaches to improving quality of care. Infrastructures have been established to support quality improvement in NHS organisations and priorities for quality improvement have been established. Initial approaches are largely educational. However, information on quality of care is starting to be shared, and experiments are being conducted with a range of financial and contractual incentives for quality improvement. For widespread cultural change to occur, a “no blame” approach to quality improvement will be necessary; this may be incompatible with the need to identify and eliminate bad practice. Other tensions include the rapid pace of change being centrally driven and uneven development of the infrastructure to support clinical governance. What has not yet been shown is that quality of care has improved. It is too early to say this yet. Given the magnitude both of the vision and the work required, it is unlikely that change will be rapid, or seen on a widespread scale.
Roland, M., Campbell, S. and Wilkin, D. (2001), "Clinical governance: a convincing strategy for quality improvement?", Journal of Management in Medicine, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 188-201. https://doi.org/10.1108/02689230110403678
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