This book is a summary of 22 clinical audit projects undertaken by a number of NHS trusts in England, Scotland and Wales. The Learning Disability Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists supported the publication. The key aim of the book is to guide others beginning to design their own clinical audit projects on health services for people with learning disabilities. Each project is described within a structured abstract and divided under three headings of organisational processes, clinical process and assessment/management of challenging behaviour. At the end is a useful list of addresses as a resource, along with the opportunity to submit one's own audit projects for future editions.
I must admit this book did not inspire me to do clinical audit. However, it did tell me the current standard of clinical audit work in the field of learning disability and so should be available in audit departments. The climb to raising the standard of audit projects in this area is long and steep. The best projects involved those auditing drug prescribing patterns, which may reflect a greater expertise in this arena or simply that this is a simpler subject to audit.
In principle the book is useful as it allows the exchange of ideas across a small speciality in which people may be working in isolation and there is a recognised variation in services. By encouraging the sharing of expertise and knowledge across the NHS it may stop too much reinvention of the wheel.
- © 2002 Royal College of Psychiatrists