Introduction The remit of the National Audit Tools Group (NATG) is to produce a set of core audit tools to enable hospices to evidence compliance with national standards of care, irrespective of their processes or documentation systems. Quality impact analysis, feedback from workshops, training days and consultation with hospices identified a need for audit tools specific to community services.
Aims Development of a comprehensive family of audit tools to measure quality of hospice care in the community against validated standards.
Methods A NATG subgroup was formed drawing on expertise from different community areas, in particular Community Nurse Specialist and Hospice at Home. To inform the development and structure of the tools, it critically reviewed: statutory and regulatory requirements, relevant national standards and guidelines, range and scope of community services provided by hospices. Because of the size and complexity of the project, topics were grouped to reflect different community areas, each requiring specialist input and ensuring multi professional collaboration.
Results Five audit tools under development are: Referral Management, Initial Assessment, Follow-up Assessment, Assessment Domains, Cooperation with Other Providers. Further tools are planned to include: Advance Care Planning, Communication, Confidentiality, Education and Training, Rapid Response, Documentation and Recording.
Discussion The diversity of community service provision and the different work patterns across hospices presented a number of challenges in ensuring that the tools under development are fit for purpose and meet local needs.
Conclusion Following testing and critical review, the first tool will be available by the end of 2011 and will be published on Help the Hospices website as a free download. Other tools will follow during 2012.
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