Clinical governance and nursing : a sociological analysis

Staniland, KM 2007, Clinical governance and nursing : a sociological analysis , PhD thesis, University of Salford, UK.

[img] PDF (Author version)
Download (1MB)


The primary focus for this Thesis is an account of the degree to which nurses and other stakeholders in one National Health Service hospital Trust have responded to the ‘clinical governance’ initiative, the effects on quality improvement and professional regulation and the practical accomplishment of legitimacy. ‘Clinical governance’ involves demonstrating that quality assurance is routine practice within every healthcare organization. A case study was undertaken, using broadly ethnographic methods. The qualitative data were obtained by documentary analysis, non-participant observation of meetings and day-to-day ward activity and semi-structured interviews. In terms of the analysis of documents and observation of meetings, new institutionalism theory was found to be useful as a framework for understanding the political and ceremonial conformity that marked the clinical governance process. Errors and inconsistencies were found in formal documentation and the Trusts’ reporting systems were fraught with problems. Nevertheless, during the same period the Trust obtained national recognition for having appropriate structures and systems in place in relation to clinical governance. A grounded theory approach was adopted in the analysis of the semi-structured interviews. Emerging themes from interview data were identified under the main categories of: ‘Making Sense,’ ‘Knowledge Construction,’ ‘Somebody Else’s Job’ and ‘Real Work.’ It was concluded that at a practice level, clinical governance was poorly understood and that the corporate organizational goals were ambiguous and seen as unrealistic on a day-to-day basis. The study concludes that what is happening is not a ‘failure’ but an unintended consequence that has resulted from an inadequate understanding of how organizations work. It is suggested that the organization has conformed to the appropriate standards in order to survive legitimately, but the ultimate impact of clinical governance on the quality of care in practice is inconsistent.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Flynn, R (Supervisor)
Additional Information: PhD supervisor: Rob Flynn
Themes: Subjects / Themes > R Medicine > RT Nursing
Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Health and Wellbeing
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2009 14:29
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2021 13:28

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year