Clinical governance is an increasingly important quality and safety assurance framework for all drug treatment providers. There are important issues about how clinical governance can work across complex drug treatment systems and how this can be helpful to drug treatment services, not just those in the national health service, and their commissioners.
The National Treatment Agency (NTA) is working with local partnerships to help ensure that clinical governance is operating effectively across the drug treatment sector. The NTA have asked that partnerships set out in their annual treatment plans what actions were planned at a partnership level to identify the current arrangements for clinical governance and what is planned to support their future development to enable service providers to respond to recent guidelines. This should include, as a minimum:
a planned audit by the partnership of current clinical governance arrangements; and
an objective that all providers will review their practice in line with recent National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence drug misuse guidelines and technology appraisals (which together effectively update recognised standards of practice) and clinical excellence guidance documents and the recently revised 'clinical guidelines' through an effective clinical governance mechanism.
In February this year the NTA published a consultation draft of guidance on clinical governance in drug treatment. Consultation will finish on 14 May 2008.