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Foreword

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Robert Howard
Affiliation:
Royal College of Psychiatrists
Clare Oakley
Affiliation:
Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London
Floriana Coccia
Affiliation:
University of Birmingham
Neil Masson
Affiliation:
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
Iain McKinnon
Affiliation:
National Institute for Health Research, Newcastle University
Meinou Simmons
Affiliation:
Cambridge and Peterborough Foundation Trust
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Summary

A psychiatrist who cannot show that he or she has been involved in audit is going to be in difficulties. Short-listing panels for the appointment of trainees at CT1 or ST4 as well as those for the appointment of consultants already look for evidence of involvement in audit before ticking important boxes and the emerging criteria for revalidation of all doctors include completion of a number of audits during each 5-year revalidation cycle. We cannot avoid audit. Yet one of the biggest current contributors to wasted trainee and consultant time in psychiatry that I can think of is the conduct of audit projects that have been poorly thought through. These often mercifully stall. But even if they stutter on, those involved suffer frustration and pain before they are able only to deliver a product that nobody really wants to hear about. Conduct of a successful and satisfying audit requires expertise – in terms of both knowledge and experience – as well as energy. Expertise in the planning and conduct of audits may be hard to access in many of the settings within which we work. In such circumstances, how useful it would be to have access to a series of recipes for audit projects that have been successfully completed by experts and whose results have been useful and interesting. This is the exact purpose of the book you are now reading. The expertise and experiences of our colleagues in all branches of psychiatry who have carried out audit projects that have worked and usefully informed practice and service design are encapsulated in a comprehensive range of easyto- follow recipes suitable for all, from the absolute beginner to the cordon bleu auditiste. I congratulate the editors for their vision and energy in putting this book together and thank all the contributors who supplied them with their audits. Psychiatrists will be happy and grateful to have this book to help them through the requirements of appointment panels and revalidation. But maybe, also, once helped to identify interesting and deliverable projects, psychiatrists will no longer feel they are wasting time on audit and will get some value and satisfaction out of the process.

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Publisher: Royal College of Psychiatrists
Print publication year: 2011

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