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Training programme to reduce risks in hospitals launched

Health & Science

Dr Frank Njenga (Left) Chairman of Chiromo Hospital Group, Dr Richard Kamau (Centre) Lead consultant for clinical governance at the Institute of Directors and Dr Nelson Kuria - Chairman at the Institute of Directors/chair at CIC Group addressing the press after the launch. [James Wanzala, Standard]

A training programme aimed at building the capacity of clinical and healthcare professionals to mitigate risks in the medical field has been launched.

Clinical governance is a framework through which a health system is accountable for continuous improvement of the quality of its services, and safeguarding the highest standards of care.

The clinical training programme is a partnership between Chiromo Hospital Group and the Institute of Directors Kenya (IOD-K).

Dr Frank Njenga, a psychiatrist and owner of Chiromo Hospital Group said the maintenance of quality of the service in medical facilities is critical.

He also said the reputation of the facilities and the safety of the people who come there are among the reasons for a clinical governance structure.

‘‘Whenever you have proper and functioning clinical governance systems, the likelihood of having errors taking place is much reduced in all institutions all over the world,’’ said Dr Njenga.

Dr Njenga was speaking on Friday during the launch of the training programme at the Chiromo Hospital Group premises in Lavington, Nairobi.

During the ceremony, Dr Njenga also rooted for the domestication of clinical governance practices in all medical institutions in the country.

Health Cabinet Secretary for Health Susan Nakhumicha said the ministry looks forward to the launch of clinical governance in other major public hospitals in the country.

‘‘Other national referral institutions are working to introduce the same just like Kenya National Hospital (KNH). We have a policy and a lot of money is being spent to ensure our healthcare providers especially those in management are trained on these skills beyond their clinical skills to improve service delivery,’’ said Nakhumicha.

His sentiments were contained in a speech read on her behalf by Dr Moses Njuguna, director of mental health service at the Ministry of Health.

Dr Nelson Kuria, who is the IOD Kenya chairman said the training programme will make a big difference in the way healthcare is run in the country and beyond.

‘‘Recognising that there is an intersection between corporate and clinical governance, there will be an integration of the two so that we have no issues that come with lack of clinical governance,’’ said Dr Kuria.

Training modules during the five-day course will include an introduction to clinical governance, clinical risk management, quality improvement in clinical practice, patient engagement and experience.

Others are clinical audit and performance measurement, professional standards and regulation, information management and technology in clinical governance.

Leadership and governance in healthcare organisations, collaboration and teamwork in clinical governance and evaluation and continuous improvement of clinical governance and mental health will also be taught.

The course targets heads of departments of public, private and faith-based hospitals who are healthcare professionals.

The leadership of professional societies, trade unions and associations in healthcare are also targeted.

Dr Kuria said that the training will bring together senior managers who are professionals in the medical field together with board directors who are not medical practitioners.

Dr Richard Kamau, a consultant and lead facilitator on clinical governance at IOD-K, said the concept originated in the UK in 1995 after the Bristol Heart Scandal.

‘‘In Kenya, the concept started at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in 2018 after a wrong patient was operated on the head as a result of mistaken patient identity,’’ said Dr Kamau.

This forced the formation of two inquiries into the matter, which arrived at the same conclusion of failed patient identification protocols, which is a governance issue.

‘‘The presence of clinical governance in a healthcare institution will reduce the risks to a bare minimum,” said Dr Kuria.

He said this often has objectives of ensuring healthcare provider and patient safety, improving the quality of services and ensuring organisational reputation and sustainability.

Dr Kuria regretted that no universities in Kenya offer a course in clinical governance and that is why it is not practised in the country.

Outside KNH, the first clinical governance seminar was first held through a national virtual seminar from the hospital n 2021.

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