The purpose of this paper is to undertake a survey of the level and quality of service user involvement in clinical audit in NHS trusts currently, in order to identify perceived drivers and barriers, and factors to increase meaningful involvement.
A cross‐sectional descriptive survey was conducted with clinical audit leads in NHS trusts in two Strategic Health Authority regions (South East Coast and London).
There has been an increase in the presence of relevant policies and structures related to user involvement in clinical audit since previous research a decade ago. However, similar barriers are identified and the role of users is still mainly providing feedback, with little meaningful involvement in the audit cycle, and few examples of improvements to clinical care.
An organisational culture of user involvement needs to continue to be developed in the NHS generally, and the rationale and benefits of this need to be fully understood by all health professionals. Support needs to be provided at a national and trust level.
Previous research on this topic was conducted ten years ago and there is no evidence to demonstrate how practice has changed since. This paper provides contemporary evidence regarding the implementation of user involvement in clinical audit.
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