Collecting and analysing the data is only the beginning of the audit cycle.
Once the data is gathered, and you have drawn some conclusions, take the results back to your practice meeting. The results can be discussed and debated, and areas for improvement identified. This will require a new action plan - and another audit after an agreed period, to ensure that the improvements have been implemented.
Commissioning and regulatory arrangements are currently under review, following the publication of the White Paper: Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS. It is not yet clear what these bodies will expect from general practice, but it is reasonable to assume that they may occasionally require some evidence that a practice has a sound system for implementing relevant national guidance.
"I've found the NICE depression guidance particularly helpful in practice. The full guidance document is scholarly and detailed, and the shorter NICE guidance is user friendly yet still sufficiently detailed to help you in terms of decision-making in the consultation. The more practitioners can cite high quality up-to-date evidence to commissioners, the more likely it is that services for patients will improve."
Professor Helen Lester, Professor of Primary Care at the University of Manchester and a GP in Birmingham
This page was last updated: 17 February 2011