This article from the NHS Clinical Governance Support Team (NCGST) outlines the development of quality concerns since the NHS was founded in 1948. It traces the development of clinical governance as a means of achieving continuous quality improvement and describes what the implementation of clinical governance means for patients and professionals. It analyses features of the cultural shift necessary to underpin quality improvement initiatives and describes with practical examples the constituents of the culture necessary for successful clinical governance. Future articles in this series will address other issues around clinical governance and will explain the model being followed by delegates to the NCGST’s Clinical Governance Development Programme as they implement clinical governance “on the ground”.
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