Safe Practice

Audit and feedback

Evaluating the care that is provided, and getting feedback, are essential elements of providing the safe, effective and person-centred care that everyone in NHSScotland is working towards. They provide a way of knowing where changes have made a difference, when things are working well and showing where changes need to be made.

Clinical audit

It is important that you gain an overview of clinical audit and its importance in patient/client safety and how it relates to your practice.

You will already have some knowledge about audit from your previous learning and experience, and will find some of the activities from the Research for Practice unit relevant here. However, this is a good opportunity to extend your knowledge about audit and to use it in your work setting.

Read the references below and then discuss what you have read with your mentor. In your discussion include the following points:

  • what is audited in your work setting and the findings of this work
  • who is involved in audit
  • how are the findings used
  • how you could be more involved

Clinical Audit references

Clinical Audit (Royal College of Psychiatrists). The Research in Practice section gives more information about using evidence in practice.

Audit and feedback: effects on professional practice and health care outcomes. This Cochrane review looks at the issues in greater depth.

Reviewing your knowledge of audit

With your KSF reviewer, and using the information from the activity above, discuss your learning needs in relation to clinical audit. Identify and agree the priorities for you to work towards while you are working in this clinical area so that your learning benefits the service as well as meeting your needs. Your learning needs should be reflected in your Personal Development Plan.

Local audit

With support from your mentor, supervisor or team leader find out in more detail about how audit is carried out in your area:

Locate a recent clinical audit relating to your team, service or work setting and identify:

  • the actions that were suggested as a result of this audit
  • how the audit action plan is being taken forward

With your supervisor/team leader discuss and agree how you could contribute to the audit cycle in your area.

Patient/client feedback

Patient/client/ feedback can be a very powerful way of gaining information about the experiences of care received. This includes their perceptions of safety and standards of care received.

This can be an evidence based way of ensuring that you are taking account of the rights of patients/clients and incorporating the principles of equality and diversity into your practice. The Equality and Diversity and Policy units (and in particular the Policy activities involving the Patient Rights Bill, 2012) will help you understand your responsibilities in gathering and acting on patient/client feedback.

Take a look at the following websites and identify specific tools/issues/ aspects of feedback that you want to know more about.

Some resources that you may find useful are given below.

The Scottish Health and Care Experience Survey details key feedback from across Scotland.

Little Things Make a Big Difference: Valuing people resource is designed to give quick access to resources to support person centred care.

The Valuing feedback resource contains an example of how feedback can be gathered and used. 

If you want to explore the impact of care in more detail than this activity asks you to, you will find the following resources valuable:

With your mentor, discuss how patient/client feedback is obtained in your clinical area. Reflect on your roles and responsibilities in obtaining and acting upon patient/client feedback.

Portfolio activity

Make a portfolio entry which summarises what you have learned about Evaluating care. Include what you have already recorded in this section, sharing best practice, your learning needs and how what you have learned so far has changed aspects of your practice. Make sure you discuss this with your mentor/supervisor and/or NHS KSF reviewer and that your future learning needs are reflected in your Personal Development Plan.

Add an alert to your Flying Start NHS® portfolio and /or make a date in your diary to revisit Audit and Feedback.