An Insight into N-QI-CAN

Welcome to the 4th N-QI-CAN blog. I was lucky enough to be invited to speak at the clinical audit summit for community & mental health trusts last week organised by CASC in Leicester. The free event was the first of its kind in recent times – bringing together clinical audit professionals who work within these trusts to network and discuss common issues. It was great to see lots of familiar faces from across our networks there and receive positive feedback on the work we have doing recently. During my talk we had a good suggestion from CASC director Stephen Ashmore (fellow Leicester based clinical audit lifer) for us to produce a summary blog of our 1/4ly N-QI-CAN meetings detailing the key messages. Coincidentally – our last meeting on the 9th March was eventful and there were a few items I wanted to bring to your attention so this idea offered a good solution to both needs. So here goes…….

The meeting opened with a couple of presentations of interest. The first was a demo of a clinical audit sharing and communication portal that I have been developing as part of our 2017 objectives after sensing there was an appetite to collaborate and share across clinical audit community without flooding the inboxes. You may be aware that our network has a small budget (link to annual report – around £16k per annum) so it was very opportunistic that the CEO of Formic had written to me stating they were keen to put something back into clinical audit after 25 years supporting the NHS & clinical audit with data capture and did I have any ideas of how they could help.

I meet with formic to briefly scope out what was required & Formic agreed to go away and develop a prototype to pitch at the meeting as both a concept and a partnership proposal. Following the presentation (pictured below) – my N-QI-CAN colleagues supported both in principle with an agreement that a contract of support be drawn up and lessons learnt from previous ‘failed’ attempts of this type of tool. We have already started doing this and we plan to apply QI principles for its development – setting clear aim / goals and scale up each element as it is tested and developed involving the people who will be using it from the outset. So if you are interested in being involved in the testing and developing this please drop me a line or leave your ideas in the comments below.

The second presentation was from Robin Sasaru –  the self acclaimed ‘pain the neck’ (to clinical audit professionals) – who put in a FOI request last year. I invited Robin – who is a former member of N-QI-CAN under its previous name – to present as I was aware of the work it had created for audit staff across the country and there was uncertainly about how the information was going to be used. Robin presented his earlier findings – leading on the role of bias in clinical audit. We feedback that the study has clear limitations – not least by partial information received by those trusts that responded to the FOI approach. I feel in hindsight that the review would have been a more productive if Robin had approached our networks for the information first explaining the research proposal. That being said there are some interesting emerging themes that echoed my points made in our second blog on data quality so we look forward to seeing the final analysis once it is completed.

Other key agenda items included:

  • a paper from our SWANs chair Stuart Metcalfe to outline the requirements of the current seven day service audit/survey and a case study on University Hospitals Bristol Foundation Trust successful approach to the project. NB Congratulations to UHBFT on their recent ‘outstanding’ CQC inspection report.
  • an update from Sue Latchem, HQIP Director of Operations on the work they have been doing with our Yorkshire network to clarify the points raised in the YEARN report including producing this useful document around the national audit & outcomes programme.
  • we agreed to continue our work with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges on developing QI training for junior doctors following our previous correspondence detailed in our last blog.
  • an agreement to divide the £9k we receive from HQIP equally across the networks for 17/18
  • support to continue with our blogs & twitter – noting the high volumes of visitors to both forms sites.
  • positive feedback from clinical audit summit which was chaired by myself & included presentations from 2 of our network chairs – Paul Gilliat & Michael Spry.

We also said thanks & goodbye to Anne Jones who is stepping down as SELCAIN chair after 3 years and re-elected of our general secretary Sue Venables (congratulations Sue).

I hope you found this informative – please like the blog if you would like to see this for future meetings. We will send out / post the minutes in due course. Our next meeting is on the 5th June.

Carl Walker

N-QI-CAN Chair

P.s don’t forget to email us asap if you want to be involved in the development of our clinical audit sharing & comms portal.

PPS I’ve invited CASC to write a guest blog on the clinical audit summit for community & mental health trusts and share some of the outputs so we look forward to receiving & sharing that soon.


  1. I really like this blog. However, it is worrying to read HQIP are only paying 9K across the networks in 17/18. It doesn’t seem long since they were holding annual events at the Belfry for hundreds of people. How much can will each network have once 9K is shared and what difference will this make?

    1. Thanks for your feedback. The £9K doesn’t sound much but we have managed on a budget of around this amount for the last three years. We recently agreed to seek additional funding and support if we need it from other sources.

  2. I was a NAGG member many moons ago. We received no income (-ve) but this allowed us to maintain our independence. (+ve).

    To better understand how the network now operates and avoids any conflicts of interest can you please direct me to recent NQICAN accounts? I’ve looked on the website for the last few years financials but can’t locate these.

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