Welcome to our first blog after the summer break. I am writing this on the eve of our N-QI-CAN quarterly September meeting at the end of my first two years as chair of NQICAN. It’s frightening how quickly time goes and the last two years have certainly flown. It has been a challenging time juggling a full time day job as clinical audit manager of a large acute teaching trust along side this role (with a raised cholesterol) but it has been one I have enjoyed and I am pleased with what we have achieved. It has also been nice to receive positive feedback from various people on our work so I’ve decided to put my name forward for another two years as chair. We have a busy agenda tomorrow (link) – so hopefully if I am voted back in and I can feedback the key messages and my/our plans for the next two years in the next blog.

One of my main objectives over the last two years was to ensure we (NQICAN) acted on feedback and delivered tangible outputs to underpin our plans. Introducing this blog page has been part of our (communication) plan & it is pleasing to confirm that today we will also be launching the NQICAN networking and sharing forum (or the NNSF).  As mentioned in our previous blog – we have developed the forum in collaboration with Formic (who have provided the technical side free of charge) and staff working within clinical audit & other quality improvement across our networks. I would like take this opportunity to thank all those involved – I’m really pleased with how the forum is taking shape and we are now in a position to launch the forum today.

NNSF homepageI would like to use the rest of this blog to give further details around what the forum is, how it has been designed to use and how we hope it can help you in your day to day jobs.

What is the forum for & who is it for?

In the first instance the site is for staff who work in or are interested in clinical audit / quality improvement that work within the NHS – which is largely the membership of our networks.   Anyone can access the homepage (link) but you will need to register to view content posted on the forum. (All NHS emails or members of our networks will be automatically approved – all other requests will need to be approved by myself). The graphic below highlights what the forum has been designed for and what is hasn’t been designed for.

NNSF overview

What is on the forum?

The forum is separated into 8 separate forums or boards to help direct discussions, content and information flows. I have provided a brief explanation of each board below with examples of how it can be used:

  1. National Clinical Audits

We spend quite a lot of time discussing the national clinical audits across the networks & at NQICAN for different reasons but we have never had one place before where we can constructively collect feedback on each audit or help each other with solutions / signpost to someone who can help. So we have set up a discussion board for each of the national clinical audits in the NCAPOP & Quality Account list. There is also other national audit / QI section such as 7DS, Safety Thermometer etc.

We are also hoping to use this space to canvass opinions on NCAs that come up for tender or re-tender so that we have this information when we (NQICAN) attend the specification development meetings .

2) Help / advice or connections

This section is simply for asking for help or seeking advice / opinions from colleagues across all the networks. At present a lot of emails are sent around networks and it is hoped that people can use this as an alternative to email to help find an answer or someone who has run a similar project and can share their experience.

3) Clinical Audit Tools

This is where we will be encouraging members of the forum to share something that has been locally produced and that you are proud of and thus help another trust that might be struggling with the same issue. This could be a clinical audit forms, guides, policy & any other useful resources developed by local trusts.

4) Recommended resources relevant to Clinical audit & other QI

This board is for members to recommend relevant resources / guidance / courses or training produced by national bodies e.g HQIP, NHSI, HQQ, CASC, IHI, NICE etc that may be of interest to others and leave brief feedback as to why they are recommending the resource. Where possible we are encouraging members to share hyperlinks to the web page hosting the resource so if it is updated we won’t need to update the forum (NB it is easy to upload attachments onto the forum if required).

5) NQICAN updates

This is where we will share the latest NQICAN information cascades / meeting papers / publications & consultations that we are involved with. Some of this will be flagging items that are available on our other communication channels such as a new blog on here or content on our website.

6) Regional Clinical Audit Networks

This is where you can find out what is happening in your region or other regions and share documents for meetings or consultations across the network. We still haven’t found a chair for our north east region so hopefully we can connect colleagues across the region on the forum and perhaps even find a volunteer to chair the network.

7) Clinical Audit Events

This is were members can share details of forthcoming events, meetings, training and conferences relevant to clinical audit & other QI. There are quite a few events coming up from various sources so hopefully this forum will help make it easier to keep up and not miss out on something of interest.

8) Forum Overview and Rules

Finally all forums such as this need to have rules, guidance & governance for posting so we have laid out what is expected here and will continue to seek feedback on the forum here.

So hopefully all of the above will provide a useful tool to assist & help make life easier. Also there is a good search engine that will look across all discussion boards if you are looking for something and not sure which forum to look in. You can also subscribe to email alerts for posts on each forum or your own post so if you don’t want to miss out on a response to your post or an event the forum will send you an alert.

We plan to provide some webinars and a more detailed guide in due course but the site has been designed in an intuitive way that hopefully it will be quite straight forward to use. We will keep metrics to allow us to see if the site is being used, what is being viewed and focus on that going forward in terms of priorities.

Anyway we hope you find the site useful – please let us have your feedback in true QI style so that we can continue to develop & involve the site.

Carl Walker