Your Guide To...BHIVA Standards of Care for People Living with HIV

8. Developing and maintaining excellent care

This section is really aimed at doctors and healthcare managers, but you should know about it too.

Standard 8 - Developing and maintaining excellent care

8b. Monitoring and audit, research and commissioning

An audit is the process where the quality and safety of the HIV services you receive are monitored and reviewed. This should improve the quality of care given and enable best practice to be shared with other care providers. Serious incidents such as late diagnoses of HIV, serious injuries or avoidable deaths in care should be recorded and reviewed. This is to learn from, and avoid, similar events in the future, where possible.

Research trials and studies can improve the knowledge and understanding of HIV. This can then lead to improved treatments and better rates of recovery. You should be informed of any studies and trials that are suitable for you, and you may be invited to take part. You should be given full information about any such study or trial. This must be in easy-to-understand language. It’s always your choice whether to take part – you don’t have to join. It will not affect your standard of care if you choose not to join.

The organisations and people that define and pay for your care are called commissioners. They make an assessment of what the HIV needs are, and allocate services accordingly. So it is important to get the best information about what is needed. There should be active involvement and representation of people living with HIV in defining these needs.

Key messages

  • Systems to monitor, audita process used to find out if healthcare is being provided in line with agreed standards. It lets patients and providers know where their service is doing well, and where there could be improvements. and improve the care you receive should be in place and used effectively.

  • Research can help to improve HIV treatment and health outcomes. You may be invited to join trials or studies. If you are, you should be given all the information you need to decide whether to join.

  • Commissioners should have structures in place that include involvement of people living with HIV.