Who are NOCA and what is their role?
The National Office of Clinical Audit (NOCA) manages audits with the aim to measure patient care against defined clinical standards. The main purpose of clinical audit is to improve patient outcomes.
NOCA and the Major Trauma Audit
The data collected by the different audits helps to support hospitals to identify areas for improvement. NOCA manages a suite of audits measuring the care of patients within areas such as stroke, hip fracture, major trauma, heart attack, intensive care patients and those having elective hip and knee replacements.
The importance of including the patient perspective is a key focus of the work within NOCA. As such, each of the audits has a committee with a patient and public interest (PPI) representative(s). The PPI representative contributes towards the planning, design and implementation of audits. They help to develop guidance relevant to the audit, participate in the development of national reports and conferences. PPI representatives are also core members of the NOCA Governance Board.
One of the NOCA PPI representatives, Naomi Fitzgibbon is a member of the Major Trauma Audit and has recently worked on a home safety message derived from the data within the audit. Being Head of Services for Spinal Injuries Ireland, Naomi understands how accidents leading to life changing injuries can impact on a person or family. Naomi provided her experience to better understand findings from the audit and provided input on how best to guide the healthcare system in achieving quality improvement and the wider public on injury prevention. The MTA 2018 report showed that falls at home are the leading cause major trauma injuries. The details of falls at home were used to design a home safety infographic which was featured in the report, on social media, online by falls groups and advocacy agencies such as Spinal Injuries Ireland.