Clinical governance has been defined as a system through which healthcare organisations are accountable for continuously improving the quality of their services and safeguarding high standards of care by creating an environment in which excellence in clinical care will flourish. Effective clinical governance ensures that risks are mitigated, adverse events are rapidly detected and investigated openly, and lessons are learned. (Scally and Donaldson 1998, p.61).
Five key themes appear repeatedly in policy documents about healthcare quality. Schoen Clinic UK ensures that these five themes are at the core of governance.
Five key themes about healthcare quality:
- Patient focus - how services are based on patient needs
- Information focus - how information is used
- Quality improvement - how standards are reviewed and attained
- Staff focus- how staff are developed
- Leadership - how improvement efforts are planned.
The five themes are interconnected and provide a framework to examine those areas that significantly affect quality of care.
Schoen Clinic UK directly employ their consultant surgeons in a departmental structure much like the NHS, with the remainder working in a traditional practicing privileges model, enabling individual institutional buy-in and commitment to incremental process improvement, with a focus on quality, safety and patient outcomes. We do this through the development of fully functional multidisciplinary team meetings (MDTs). All of our physician leaders are employed and work within our governance structure to deliver a homogenous, clinically focused patient pathway into which our independent practitioners can fit their own practice, thereby ensuring that there is still a predictable, measurable and optimised outcome.
We operate within the Medical Practitioners Assurance Framework (MPAF), this strengthens our governance framework and ensures a more standardised approach. Through the MPAF Responsible Officer system we can proactively develop two-way information sharing between private providers and NHS colleagues.
Freedom to Speak Up Guardians
We work hard to maintain an open and transparent culture where anyone at any level can raise concerns without fear, safe in the knowledge that someone will listen and act on their feedback. We were the first major independent hospital group to have fully trained Freedom to Speak Up Guardians and all staff have access to a confidential third party whistleblowing hotline. This helps us identify and investigate concerns about staff and Consultants’ behaviour, practice and the way we run our hospitals.
When incidents do occasionally occur, we make every effort to respond quickly and effectively. We dedicate appropriate resource to both individual events and also any broader issues that might also arise. We share relevant information and lessons learnt both within our own organisation and with the NHS and other independent sector hospitals.
Care Quality Commission (CQC)
At Schoen Clinic UK we continuously monitor our performance against the standards set by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and strive for continuous improvement and outstanding patient care.