Headlines: May 21st, 1999

Guidance from the newly created National Institute for Clinical Excellence will not on its own raise health standards. NHS Trusts and primary care groups will need to develop ways of translating the guidance into everyday practice. This is the conclusion of a report published by the King’s Fund.

The King’s Fund quality improvement programme ‘Promoting Action on Clinical Effectiveness’, launched in 1995, developed methods of putting evidence of good practice into effect in 16 local projects. Learning from this development work can be used to take forward the work of the new National Institute.

The report urges NHS bodies to put effort into developing systems for implementing clinical governance. It recommends that they should ensure that health workers, managers and patients are involved in a range of activities which examine where services need to be improved, find ways of achieving change and make sure improvements are sustained over time.