Website of the BSPR

Clinical Governance

Clinical Governance' is how health services are held accountable for the safety, quality and effectiveness of clinical care delivered to patients.

Clinical Governance is a statutory requirement of NHS Boards and is achieved by co-ordinating three interlinking strands of work:

  • Robust national and local systems and structures that help identify, implement and report on quality improvement
  • Quality improvement work involving health care staff, patients and the public
  • Establishing a supportive, inclusive learning culture for improvement


"Clinical governance is a system through which NHS organisations are accountable for continuously improving the quality of their services and safeguarding high standards of care by creating an environment in which excellence in clinical care will flourish.'

Scally and Donaldson 1998, p.61


'Clinical Governance is the framework through which all the components of quality, including patient and public involvement, are brought together and placed high on the agenda of each organisation.'
David Steel, Chief Exec NHS QIS


'Clinical Governance is about ensuring that patients are safe and risks are managed.'
Janet Seaton, Clinical governance facilitator, NHS 24


 NHS Scotland Clinical Governance website

Clinical governance and the drive for quality improvement in the new NHS in England, Scally & Donaldson, 1998

 Making clinical governance work. Degeling, Maxwell, Iedema & Hunter, 2004


ISC Medical

Clinical governance definitions and a bit of soft sell for their course

ISC medical clinical governance