Election / Launch day

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




  1. It is encouraging to see the current chairman being open in this blog about his quest for re-election. On a similar subject: how are other N-QI-CAN members elected? Our regional chair seems to have been a member forever but we aren’t quite sure what this means other than attending periodic meetings. For comparative purposes, can N-QI-CAN advise when all current members took up there N-QI-CAN post? It would be enlightening to see all meeting attendance rates to compare our network representation with others. A few of us in our region would also like to see how much individual N-QI-CAN members have been paid over the last three years. The available annual accounts are VERY top-line with minimal information . Could a more detailed breakdown be supplied listing member’s expenses and paid work?

  2. Thanks for your comment. All regional networks have their own terms of reference please email us and we can send you relevant documents (usually the chairmanship is reviewed every 2 years). We have a record of all network chairs / NQICAN reps attendance records and this is monitored – again we can email them to you if you would like this detail. All of our chairs including our NQICAN chair do the role as part of their substantive post and in their own time. Only our (NQICAN) chair’s host trust receives any remuneration for their time – 2 days each month which is declared in our annual report. Travel expenses to attend our (NQICAN) meetings are covered from our budget if the host trust cannot cover them. Any other income is declared and minuted at our quarterly meetings. Please email us if you would like any further detail.

  3. As an interested observer I find the last reply from NQICAN worrying and arrogant. If the network have the information that has been requested by a previous poster, why are they unwilling to share this? All NQICAN members are in a very privileged position and surely they would want to share this information with those they represent. Anything less is not being open and transparent. The NQICAN reply urges the poster on three occasions to send an email but does not provide an email address to contact. One wonders if this is by design or accident? Given NQICAN have set up this blog to allow anonymous contributions, why are they refusing to answer what seems like an entirely legitimate request for information to be made public? According to the reply reps attendance is recorded and monitored. However, from a brief look at the NQICAN minutes there is not evidence of this. If this is core business can the network substantiate when this has been discussed and minuted? I feel that the previous description of ‘topline’ accounts is overly generous. Historically NAGG members were all volunteers so received no payments. I would go as far to say that the accounts are not fit for purpose. If they were they would show what income is received and who gets what, down to the last pound and pence. As a final point, I would like to ask who NQICAN are accountable to? For example, if one wished to make a complaint against an individual member or the network in general, to whom would they seek counsel? I presume this would be the NQICAN benefactors, but who specifically is that?

    1. Thank you for post & queries. We will ask our chair to respond on here when he returns from leave next week. In the meantime our email address is nqican@gmail.com – apologies for omitting this in the previous post.

  4. Further to the 2 anonymous posts above – I can confirm that we haven’t received any emails on the matters raised so I can’t take this forward. We will however discuss the points raised at our next NQICAN meeting on the 13th November and as a minimum we will post detailed accounts, NQICAN attendance figures & regional chair terms on our website (www.nqican.org.uk) following the meeting.

    NQICAN is an independent body working collaboratively with national clinical audit and quality improvement bodies and regional networks. It is a recognised group within health and social care, but is not a direct function of the NHS England, the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) or any other similar body. NQICAN’s objectives rightly reflect those of the NHS England and HQIP where clinical audit is concerned, however NQICAN retains its own independent voice. Recommendations made by NQICAN are not binding on any other organisation. Our annual funding for our NQICAN meetings, my post and regional network events (around £14K) is from NHSE and is managed and administered by HQIP.

  5. I’d like to follow up on my 10th October post. In response to my requests Carl Walker replied on 26th October ‘we will discuss the points raised at our next NQICAN meeting on 13th November and as a minimum we will post detailed accounts, attendance figures and regional terms of reference on our website following the meeting’. 100 days have now passed since your NQICANmeeting but I can’t discern the outputs promised. Can you please advise where these can be viewed? Moreover, can you direct me to the November minutes?

    On a separate note, is this blog still running? The current blog focuses on advent but we have Easter Eggs in the shops? I hope this hasn’t been mothballed as this is highly insightful.

  6. Thanks for following this up and apologies for the delay in posting a response (or any blogs for that matter) – its been a very busy start to the year for different reasons.

    I’m pleased to report this was discussed at our November meeting. We agreed to produce detailed accounts in our annual report which will publish at the end of the financial year and regional chairs have been asked to update the NQICAN website regional networks pages with key information (meeting dates / TOR) and contact details of each network.

    The attendance record has been produced by our comms officer and this is now been posted on our website – link below:


    The draft minutes for the November meeting have been shared with NQICAN members and also posted on the NQICAN networking and sharing forum (http://forum.nqican.org.uk/). The final minutes will be posted on our website once they have been approved / signed off at our March meeting on the 12th.

    Finally the blog hasn’t mothballed – we/I aim to publish a blog at least every other month – we managed 9 in the first year so we are ahead of our target and we will be posting the next one shortly. Glad you find them – highly insightful – this helps with the motivation as they are written in our spare time.

    Hope this response proves useful – let me know if you need anything else.

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