Goals and methods of audit should be reappraised

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7055.497 (Published 24 August 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:497

Pragmatic methods need to be developed

  1. Andrew Miles, Deputy director Centre for the Advancement of Clinical Practice,
  2. Paul Bentley, Consultant haematologist Llandough Hospital,
  3. Andreas Polychronis, Senior house physician Guy's Hospital,
  4. Nicholas Price, Clinical audit coordinator National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery,
  5. Joseph Grey, Senior registrar in medicine University Hospital of Wales
  1. European Institute of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 5XH
  2. Cardiff CF64 4XX
  3. London SE1 9RT
  4. London WC1N 3BG
  5. Cardiff CF4 4XX

    EDITOR,—We agree with R A Fulton that audit in the NHS should be urgently reappraised.1 The government white paper's definition of audit has been regurgitated ad nauseam as if repetition of the words “systematic” and “critical” can imprint those characteristics on an ill conceived, badly directed audit programme that has produced little of benefit to patients and doctors.

    Audit was initially held to be of value in assessing medical practice against local standards but has evolved conceptually …

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