A new guide to help NHS boards improve patient care through clinical audits has been published by a health consortium.

The Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership has started an ongoing strategy to get boards involved with clinical audit as part of their usual governance.

The guidance, entitled Clinical Audit: a simple guide for NHS boards and partners, explains why it is important for boards to oversee their own governance of clinical care. It also sets out how clinical audit can help them do so more effectively.

It comes after a 2009 report - Taking it on Trust by the Audit Commission - found “few trusts could set out how clinical audit was being used in a systematic way to address risks”.

Written by Dr John Bullivant and Andrew Corbett-Nolan from the Good Governance Institute, the guidance will be officially launched at London’s Wellcome Collection on 3 March and Manchester’s The Place Hotel on 13 April.

Robin Burgess, chief executive of HQIP, said: “The guide is designed to help boards take real oversight of clinical audit within clinical governance. It will help boards quickly grasp how audit is an essential quality driver and can also stimulate and shape organisational strategic development.”