AUDIT is a key part of clinical management in the NHS today. Only by having information on a service can effectiveness be monitored, or justifications for service development be structured.
An effective audit tool is therefore important and if a common tool was to be used across the UK then consolidation of data could be undertaken.
With this as an aspiration the TiMS Audit Working Group have developed a web-based tool to monitor therapy services against the quality requirement for services as laid out in the National Service Framework, NSF, for long term conditions. The questions set are based on the recommendations for MS therapy services that TiMS made in their publication - Therapists in MS delivering the long-term solutions (2006).
It is hoped that the audit tool will be applicable to therapy services regardless of the type or number of therapy services involved.
The audit tool allows MS therapy services and centres to register, complete an assessment (or assessments) and view results. The tool is applicable to all therapy services regardless of the type or number of therapies involved and allows for comparisons to be made against national and geographic averages.
As well as showing strengths of service, where there may be any shortfall or excess in meeting requirements of the NSF, the audit will provide evidence to assist in demonstrating the needs for service improvements in your area
The tool was piloted within a small group of services and in accordance with the TiMS networking ethos and is now available for universal use.
Heidi Cleary, Neuro-specialist physiotherapist, NHS Haringey, is the leader of the TiMS project group who developed the Tool; and "Therapists in MS" themselves will use the information to map out and analyse services around the UK. It is also hoped to be able to highlight positive practice in areas that are working well to fulfil the requirements of the NSF
It should be noted that the information contained, and the results demonstrated, are strictly anonymous.