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Clinical Governance

Introduction

Following the Bristol Baby Scandal in 1995, which exposed the high mortality rate, observed in paediatric cardiac surgery at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, the term Clinical governance became widely used in the medical community. A need to improve and maintain the quality of care provided to general public was felt. This led to the development of the concept of clinical governance by NHS in UK. The publication of Government's White Paper, "A First Class Service - Quality in the new NHS" brought about the introduction of the term 'Clinical Governance' in 1998. This also introduced the National Service Frameworks and the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. Clinical governance is a governance system for health care sector which aims to improve the quality of health services and safeguard high standards of care by creating an environment which promotes clinical excellence and hold NHS organizations accountable for continuous improvement in care deliverance. To guarantee that community pharmacy is fully incorporated in the multi-disciplinary clinical governance strategies, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain published its own policy named "Achieving excellence in pharmacy through clinical governance" in 1999.

Conclusion

Health care professionals and management should work in collaboration for the identification of priorities for health and improvements in service. This team work should be aimed at benefiting patient care. All clinical risks, errors and complaints should be sources of learning for improvements in services. The response of patients to the care offered to them should be a source for guiding treatment strategies, in order to mould the treatment modalities according to the wills of patients. Sharing of knowledge among the care providers should be encouraged. The importance of the role of pharmacists in health care services cannot be denied. On one hand it is of life saving value to patients and on the other hand the assistance provided by pharmacists to clinicians is of vital importance.

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