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Worcestershire Key Documents
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Types of Key Document

Definition of Key Documents

Strategy

A document that describes a planned series of actions intended to achieve a Specific goal.

Policy

A policy is a general set of ideas or principles of action in a particular field, which should be based on evidence, legislation, best practice, and statute and incorporate any standards laid down by recognised professional bodies or other national NHS institutions where such are available.

 

In general terms, a policy explains what we will do and why we will do it.

 

A policy once implemented is mandatory for all staff and failure to comply may result in disciplinary action

Procedure

A procedure is a document providing more detail of the process/steps to be followed in order to implement a policy

Protocol

A protocol is a document laying down in precise detail the tests/steps that must be performed in prescribed circumstances. Protocols should therefore be developed with caution, being more inflexible in nature, exact compliance with the details may be tested should examination in a legal context become necessary

Guidelines/Guidance Notes:

Clinical guidelines are systematically developed statements, based on a thorough evaluation of the evidence, to assist practitioner and patient decisions about appropriate healthcare for specific circumstances, across the entire clinical spectrum.

Clinical Treatment Pathway

A clinical treatment pathway is a simple flow chart with each step of the patient journey mapped out. These are created to reflect national recommendations and bring together local policies, procedures, patient information and contact information. These are provided electronically on-line for Worcestershire health economy to access

Clinical Patient Information Leaflets

Patient information leaflets are leaflets containing specific information about medical conditions, procedures and treatments These should include risks and benefits of procedures and treatments, supporting the consent process.

National Guidelines

Nationally produced clinical guidelines. As the name implies, guidelines are suggested principles, which are set down to help determine a course of action but need neither to be automatically nor rigorously applied. It should be noted that clinical guidelines do not replace professional judgement and discretion. These are provided electronically on-line for Worcestershire health economy to access.

Care Pathway

A care pathway is anticipated care placed in an appropriate time frame, written and agreed by a multidisciplinary team. It has locally agreed standards based on evidence where available to help a patient with a specific condition or diagnosis move progressively through the clinical experience. It forms part or all of the clinical record, documenting the care given. It facilitates and demonstrates continuous quality improvement. It includes patient milestones and clinical interventions noted on the day or stage that they are expected to occur.

Page last updated: 14 November 2018