Public Accounts Committee Press Notice

11 January 2007

A STATEMENT FROM EDWARD LEIGH MP

CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS

National Audit Office report: Improving quality and safety: progress in implementing clinical governance in primary care

Many primary care organisations have demonstrated limited progress in implementing the Department of Health's clinical governance agenda. This once again shows that patient safety is still too far down the NHS agenda.

Most NHS organisations that provide or commission primary healthcare services have systems and processes in place to give assurance that the services provided by GPs, pharmacists and others are safe and of good quality. But that is a fat lot of good when they all too often fail to apply these systems and processes in practice.

I am particularly disappointed that least progress has been in the area of patient and public involvement, in both designing services and decisions about care.

It is essential that that the NHS uses the opportunity presented by the recent re-organisation of primary care to make sure that the principles of clinical governance result in improvements that we can all see. 

Notes for Editors

Requests for further comment from Edward Leigh should be made via Luke Robinson, Select Committee Media Officer, on 020 7219 5693 or 07917 488549.