Audits are an important part of service development and quality improvement, playing a key part in the RCP’s mission to improve health and care for all.

The research and findings from the audit publications we produce demonstrate that clinical audit is a way of providing a true picture of the standards of care, trends over time, and opportunities for benchmarking and improvement for frontline clinical teams, NHS trusts, health boards and patients.

The RCP runs a range of national audits. These audits are based on standards of care set by clinical experts and are evidence-based. The audits describe variations and gaps in care and identify good practice. They are an invaluable tool for improving the safety and quality of care, for targeting intelligent regulation and delivery of services and exploring value and variation at a time when systems are under great pressure.

Why audit continues to be important

At the RCP, we ensure that participating trusts get their own individualised data so that they can use the findings within the local context to drive improvement. Audit is central to helping patients, clinical teams and trust and health boards to understand how well their services are delivering clinical care and to identify areas of care and service delivery that could be improved. We believe audit and quality improvement complement each other as audit data enables local clinical teams to:

  • identify and focus on the areas of care in need of improvement, and
  • then monitor any changes that occur as a result of local quality improvement initiatives and projects.

We have also worked in collaboration with Mesothelioma UK to raise the profile of this asbestos-related cancer and to make recommendations to improve outcomes for patients.