National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme
The National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP) is a closely linked set of centrally-funded national clinical audit projects that collect data on compliance with evidence based standards, and provide local trusts with benchmarked reports on the compliance and performance. They also measure and report patient outcomes.
The projects analyse data supplied by local clinicians centrally and feed back comparative findings to help participants identify necessary improvements for patients.
Most of these projects involve services in England and Wales; some also include services from Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The NCAPOP programme list is extended to other areas of healthcare that are considered a priority by the Department of Health.
HQIP is responsible for the commissioning of new projects, the oversight of the whole programme and the contract management of audits. The Department of Health, advised bits advisory group, NAGCAE, makes the selection of topics for audit and the providers of audits under the topic headings.
HQIP seeks to ensure that all NCAPOP audits are:
- timely in providing response on a local level
- effecting change in practice
- led by clinicians
- offering value for money.
What is national audit and patient outcomes measurement?
The NCAPOP programme collects a large volume of data about local service delivery and achievement of compliance with standards, and about attainment of outcomes. Each project is commissioned from a suitable professional or academic group appointed on the basis of their skills and expertise, and these are closely monitored and supported by HQIP.
The projects allow:
- local bodies to identify and make local improvements for patients based on data they have supplied
- patients to question the quality of their care and exercise choice
- the Care Quality Commission and other regulators to corroborate local bodies' self assessments against national standards
- the Department of Health and NHS Wales to assess progress against national initiatives
Clinical audit and patient outcomes monitoring are two closely related activities that seek to improve patients' experiences and health outcomes through the systematic review of healthcare delivery. They aim to ensure that all patients receive the most effective, up-to-date and appropriate treatment, delivered by clinicians with the right skills and experience.
The three broad questions that clinical audit and outcomes monitoring seek to answer can be summarised as:
- Are patients given the best care?
- Are they better?
- Do they feel better?
NCAPOP Library: see the latest national clinical audit reports >>