IN THE CONTEXT OF THE PRESENT POLITICAL AND SOCIAL CLIMATE, CRITICALLY EXAMINE HOW HEALTH CARE ORGANISATIONS CAN ACCOUNT TO THE PUBLIC FOR THE QUALITY OF CARE DELIVERED INTRODUCTION
The concept of Clinical Governance was dated back when the Labour government came into office in the1990s. The Labour government introduced a National Health Service White Paper to support the National Health Service (NHS) programme. In addition, an internal market was also introduced to improve the quality of care. However, quality of care in the NHS was not explicitly defined. There were variations, lapses and failures in quality of care. For example, findings from Bristol Royal Infirmary Inquiry (2001) where 23 deaths of cardiac surgical paediatric patients occurred were noted as variations in the clinical practices. The Royal Liverpool Children’s Inquiry (Redfern et al 2001) also encountered similar variations in clinical practices. The above cases caused enormous political and public concerns and upheavals which ultimately resulted in significant erosion in the level of confidence in the NHS. The government then decided to make changes in the NHS by focusing on improvement in the quality of care. Thus, the concept of Clinical governance was initiated (Briane 2006).
The initiative of clinical governance was based on the improvement of quality of care at all levels and also to address the issues of poor performance. These initiatives will minimise risk and in still some confidence in patients and the public about the services provided by health care organisations. Donaldson and Scally (1998) explained clinical governance as a vehicle through which NHS organisations take responsibility for continuously monitoring and improving the quality of services and protecting the high standard of care. In effect, clinical governance creates an environment that is conducive for clinical care improvements. The key components of clinical governance which intended to be the framework of quality in NHS includes the following: Risk management, poor performance, coherence, quality methods, culture and infrastructure. Royal College of Nursing (2007) added that clinical governance integrates all the various activities that focus on patient care and embraces the standards of improving high quality of care. It integrates activities which involves team working, improving communication and quality of information as well as reducing patient risks. The question of “Quality of Care” is a key issue that leads to the development of clinical governance. Clinical Governance embraces quality of care, and duty of care at all levels, and this requires changes in the various settings in clinical areas and health care organisations (Currie, Clare, & Scrivener 2004). The purpose of this essay is to examine the extent and effects of good practices that will facilitate quality service delivery to the public by health-care organisations, and a gist of how the present political and social issues have affected healthcare. In addition, the essay will discuss some policies of clinical governance and also cover how effective leadership can create a healthy work environment to determine a patient centred care. Finally, it will evaluate how quality assurance mechanisms adopted by organisations improve practice. POLITICAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES AFFECTING PROVISION OF HEALTHCARE The recent UK financial crises have caused the government to reduce funding and spending in the public sector with the exception of international development. The National Health Service have been consistently funded for many years, however this trend is about to change. The NHS budget is scheduled to be reduced between 2011 and 2014 so as to make projected savings of £15 – 20billion (Department of Health 2009). This will put more pressure on health workers and restrict investments in new development. However the need to improved standard of care remains the...
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