To describe the introduction of a clinical governance programme within a regional forensic psychiatric service.
The established programme meets the objectives of clinical governance. It affords regular appraisal of model practice and dissemination of information among staff. It provides a forum for continuing professional development, assessment of users' views and input of its staff to service development.
A functional clinical governance programme is possible, and likely to produce considerable benefits, but requires substantial commitment from clinical, secretarial and managerial staff. To be sustainable in the long term it may require additional funding. It is still too early to seek to evaluate any long term changes produced in patient care by the process.
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