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Our values: Care with compassion, Respect and dignity, Striving to excel, Professional standards, Working together

Quality, Safety and Clinical Governance

Every NHS Trust must function within a statutory and mandatory framework. This means within legislation laid down by Parliament and meeting the requirements of the Care Quality Commission.

Quality Governance provides a framework for organisations and individuals to ensure the delivery of safe, effective and high quality healthcare.  Its purpose is to help organisations, like hospitals, and their staff, monitor and improve standards of care.

Within this framework the Clinical Governance Directorate works in the following services:

  • Clinical Audit. 
  • Patient Safety and Risk Management.
  • Evidence-based Care and Effectiveness.
  • PALS and Patient Experience.
  • Research and Clinical Trials
  • Bereavement Services.

Clinical Audit

Clinical audit is the means by which doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals measure the quality and effectiveness of the care they offer. Some clinical audits are national studies which allow the Trust to compare services with a national benchmark or other similar trusts. In doing this we can see where services need to improve and, having made the necessary changes, we can carry out another audit to see if the quality has improved. 

In addition to national audits staff at the Trust may carry out service specific in-house audits and in addition Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust participates in the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) programme.

Patient Safety and Risk Management

The Trust is committed to providing services which are safe and effective and uses risk management to do this. Risk management is about minimising risks to patients by:

  • Identifying what can and does go wrong during care. 
  • Understanding the factors that influence this. 
  • Learning lessons from any adverse events. 
  • Ensuring action is taken to prevent recurrence.
  • Putting systems in place to reduce risks.

Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust is compliant with statutory Duty of Candour (2014) and supports staff to be honest and transparent with patients, and their families and carers if something goes wrong.  We promote a culture of openness and we will investigate and support learning from any incident that has affected one of our patients.

Evidence-based Care and Effectiveness

Care for patients should be based on good quality evidence from research and developed into best practice standards.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is responsible for providing national guidance on the promotion of good health and the prevention and treatment of ill health.

At Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust the default Trust position is that services are compliant with NICE Guidance and this compliance is monitored by a Senior Clinical Governance Manager.

PALS and Patient Experience

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is available to help to sort out any problems or concerns you have about your contact with the NHS.  The PALS team can provide information about Trust services and will respond to your comments or concerns aiming to resolve issues quickly and efficiently. 

If you have comments, compliments, concerns or complaints the PALS team will listen to you and help you find the department or team who can best help you. 

Complaints Procedure

The Complaints Policy can be provided upon request.  If you would like a copy of this policy please contact the Complaints Department on 01322 428436.

Please be assured that we want to hear your complaint and if you make a complaint this will not detrimentally affect your treatment.  Complaints are treated with the strictest confidence and are kept separate from your medical records.

If you have a complaint about any aspect of service provided by Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, or would like more information about the Trust Complaints Procedure, please contact:

The Complaints Department

Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust

Darent Valley Hospital




Research and Clinical Trials

Clinical trials and research are an everyday part of work done in the NHS. The vast majority are carried out by doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who treat patients all the time. The aims of clinical trials are to find better ways of looking after patients, helping patients recover more quickly and keeping people healthy. 

Any patients who participate do so voluntarily and they are not paid for participating in clinical trials.

Bereavement Services 

You will be given a booklet by the ward or department following the death of your loved one. Please contact the Bereavement team after midday on the next working day to discuss when the certificate will be ready. The team will advise you of the progress being made towards issuing the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death or if the death has to be reported to H. M. Coroner

If there is to be a post-mortem examination you should not set a date for the funeral until H M Coroner has issued a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death.

Location: Level 2 Hospital Main Entrance

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm (excluding Bank Holidays and weekends)

Telephone: 01322 428165 or 01322 428168

Quality and Safety Committee

The Trust Board has delegated the management of Clinical Governance to the Quality and Safety Committee. This committee meets monthly, and is chaired by a Non-Executive Director. The main role of the committee is to monitor and scrutinise, on behalf of the Board, the Trust's work in ensuring delivery of high quality clinical care and the effective management of risk.