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Clinical Quality Governance Strategy

South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust provides emergency and urgent care along with other non-emergency business such as patient transport services, out of hours call handling and medical equipment services. The Trust provides these services across Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, with a resident population of 4 million people in a geographical area of 4,600 square miles.  

The purpose of this strategy is to establish and to provide assurance that robust systems are being embedded into the organisation to address national and local clinical and quality governance requirements.  These need to continue to be progressed and are key to the transition of the Trust being a clinically led organisation over the next 2 years, and in the shorter term, over the period leading to application for Foundation Trust.

However, this is a long-term strategy and is dynamic and it will need to be reviewed bi-annually and adapted to meet future local needs of the Trust (given the changing Healthcare landscape as outlined within Liberating the NHS Equity and Excellence, DH 2010); this will in turn have an effect on the future local needs of trusts.

The Trust has adopted a holistic approach to clinical and quality governance whereby there is no segregation between clinical, non-clinical, financial or other risk which feed into the arrangements for clinical and quality governance.

The strategy will be communicated to staff in accordance with Corporate Policy & Procedure (CPP no.1) 'Trust policies and procedures - Implementation and Review'.

The Trust will work in partnership with stakeholders and commissioners to ensure that a 'High Quality Care' service will be delivered (encompassing Care Quality Commission, Clinical and Quality standards).

This strategy has evolved following the scrutiny of performance at such trusts as Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. Following on from the Francis report, the National Quality Board also published 'Review of Early Warning Systems' in the NHS Acute and Community services, February 2010. SCAS undertook in-depth analyses of its Clinical Quality Governance arrangements[1] and risks are highlighted and dealt with through collaboration and joint working.   

[1] Board  report Recommendations and actions following review of the Francis

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