Domain 2:

Safety and Quality: Audit

Reason for the Audit

1. Reason for the audit

The opening section of the report should clearly explain why the audit topic was chosen and that, as a result of this choice, there is the potential for change to be introduced which is relevant to the practice or you as an individual practitioner.

It is not a requirement for appraisal that you must personally undertake data extraction or analysis: and you may participate in a group audit with other GPs. For many GP Principals, not just those in training practices, audit is already an established feauture of practice activity: the QOF is an example. Appraisal is intended to stimulate activity and support learning from audit, but where audit is already under way you do not need to undertake extra audit work. However, the audit must address some areas of performance which includes your own work, and offer the potential for you to learn and potentially change your clinical practice.

Choosing a topic in an area where you know your own clinical practice is strong will not lead to a completed audit cycle being achieved. For example, if the data from your initial audit findings clearly suggest that you do not have to consider the introduction of any change, or carry out a second data collection, then it is evident that this topic was not a problem area. You should concentrate on prioritising workload and clinical topics in areas where there is a consensus amongst colleagues that practice could most definitely be improved.

Points to consider:

  • Explain why the particular audit topic was chosen. For example, there may be a perceived deficiency in practice, or it is an area in which it is recommended that audit should be carried out routinely and there is a perception that practice could be improved.
  • Explain what potential benefits there will be to the individual undertaking the audit, the patients and/or the practice in general.

Sessional doctors

Audit is possible as a sessional doctor (even as a peripatetic locum) provided you are undertaking regular clinical activity. Ideally it should be done as part of a larger group or organisation, but the sessional doctors section contains some ideas for audit which a roving GP locum can do. Doctors who work in out of hours services can similarly undertake audit and this should be possible with the support of the clinical lead for the service as part of the quality assurance process.

This page was last updated on: 15/05/2015