8. Developing and maintaining excellent care
This section is really aimed at doctors and healthcare managers, but you should know about it too.
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.