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Governance review benchmarking cardiology services against national standards

The client

A foundation trust, Healthcare sector

Challenge

Benchmarking Standards and Accreditation.

A foundation trust understood that its cardiology division was performing well, but it had no way of proving it as reporting mechanisms and systems had failed to keep pace with innovation and growth. This exposed the trust to a number of threats when cardiology services in the region were being restructured and budgets were under threat. Lack of reporting put it at risk of not being paid for all of its work, and threatened its position in the reconfiguration of services. Failure to put in place comprehensive governance systems left the trust vulnerable to allegations from a disgruntled consultant that the service was unsafe. Our challenge was to benchmark the performance of the service.

Scope

Verita carried out a collaborative governance review of the cardiology service to benchmark its performance, and identify gaps in its processes, policies and protocols.

Process

The Verita team involved managing director Ed Marsden, partner Lesley Sargeant and director Amber Sargent. The review was conducted in two parts. The first part involved a series of semi-structured interviews with clinical leads and other senior members of staff. The second part covered benchmarking outcomes against local, regional and national standards. Most of the trust’s data came from its monthly scorecards and its clinical risk department. Public forums such as CQC and Dr Foster websites provided additional performance data. The benchmarks were taken from a comprehensive list of national and international best practice guidance.

Findings

Within a few months, Verita was able to confirm for the first time that the trust provided a good, effective and safe cardiology service, but that it lacked robust, underpinning governance systems, a comprehensive data capture system, and clarity about its future direction.

Outcome

The trust used our findings to refute claims that its service was unsafe, introduce better systems and processes, and build consensus about future development to enable it to take a central role in the planned reconfiguration of cardiology services.

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