Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association

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Clinical Audit and Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Audit

Clinical audit sets out to determine whether you have done what you set out to do. In other words whether you have achieved your objectives. In order to audit health care it is necessary to first have a standard or guidelines for intended care to audit against.


Clinical Guidelines

Clinical Guidelines are evidence-based protocols to support decision-making in health care, they may be local or national. There is though a danger of similar guidelines being written in many different places. Furthermore that available guidelines may vary in quality.


The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) is charged with producing high quality national clinical guidelines. It expects to produce 10-20 guidelines a year. The process of guideline production will be supported by the professional bodies, including the CPHVA.


CLIP database

To support clinical audit and guideline production in Trusts the NICE has a database of audits and guidelines, the Index of Clinical Improvement Projects or CLIP database which is accessible on the web by telephone or by writing to NICE. In order to maximise its value it requires health professionals involved in audit or guideline production to submit their projects ( Only then can a really comprehensive selection of material be available to facilitate work by others and stop professionals reinventing the wheel. We must try to avoid duplication of effort in the NHS. For further details please contact: or Tel: 020 7067 5800


Other sources of advice and information on audit include:

Clinical Audit Association - Tel: 01472 210682

Advice and training to support clinical audit

  • Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association
    Tel: 020 7939 7000

  • RCN Nursing and Midwifery Audit Information Service
    020 7647 3831

  • Straight forward guides written for nurses on designing and carrying out clinical audit and preparing an audit proposal.
    - Clare Morrell and Gill Harvey (1999), The Clinical Audit Handbook, Bailliere Tindall/RCN
    - Crombie et al (1993), The Audit Handbook, Chichester, Wiley.