Governance Validation Framework Standard (GVF)

The Governance Validation Framework Standard (GVF) is the quality assurance and improvement mechanism that underpins service provision licensing and is a 3-year quality assurance assessment cycle.
Setting and implementing standards and monitoring of compliance are important levers in driving improvements in quality and safety in healthcare.  The Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) developed the GVF Standard to further enhance patient safety, improve the quality of service provision, and provide PHECC with the assurance that PHECC Recognised CPG Service Providers (CPG Service Providers/Provider) are operating in line with PHECC rules and requirements for their recognition.

The aim of the GVF Standard is to establish a continuous cycle of internal and external validation of CPG Service Providers.  The Standard facilitates the assessment of the quality of care delivered by CPG Service Providers to identify what is working well and what requires improvement through an on-going process of evaluation assessment and continuous quality improvement.  Designed to be compatible with existing national healthcare improvement standards, the GVF Standard contains 45 criteria under the following 6 Standards:

Person Centred Care and Support 
The intent here is to ensure the Provider has a patient-centred focus by providing services that protect the rights of patients, including empowering them to make informed decisions about the services they receive.  The views of patients should be sought and analysed.  Sources of this information include complaints, compliments, and patient feedback surveys.  The feedback system needs to be transparent, and the information should be used to make improvements.  Patients should be provided with instructions that are clear and relevant to their special needs and ethnicity. 

Effective Integrated Care and Safe Environment
The intent here is to evaluate if the Provider’s environment supports safe services.  Fire safety, security, and planned preventative maintenance programmes are some of the topics covered.  Safe clinical care is evaluated including identifying high risk patients.  Pre-hospital emergency care Providers have a crucial part to play in major incident planning and testing.

Safe Care and Support
The intent here is to evaluate risk management and reporting systems.  Other safety issues are measured: Infection prevention and control (IPC), waste management, safeguarding, and medication management are patient safety issues that require specific attention in this standard.  The sudden outbreak of transmissible diseases means practices have to rapidly adapt existing emergency plans to manage services and reduce the transmission of infection.  Utilising PHECC CPGs provide important sources of best practice.

Leadership and Governance
The Provider is responsibly governed to its defined purpose.  A clear understanding of responsibilities and accountabilities lead to role clarity and will support the implementation of appropriate policies.  Clinical and corporate governance are distinguished and the leaderships commitment to patient safety is evaluated.  Risk management is included as it is a significant part of any governance framework and should include a reporting system.  A robust communication policy can mitigate a number of adverse events and both internal and external systems should be in place.

Workforce Planning
The intent here is to ensure staff are registered and trained to provide care appropriate to their role.  Staff need to be trained on safety issues at the onset of employment and at regular intervals during their employment.  Orientation, both organisational and role specific, should be provided to all new staff.  Staff learning and professional development needs, specific to pre-hospital emergency care should be identified, documented, and addressed.  A health and safety programme is concerned with protecting the wellbeing, health, and safety of people employed by the Provider. 

Use of Information
The intent here is to ensure that there are information management policies in place to support the Provider providing best practice patient care.  All episodes of patient care should be documented, and these records audited to measure compliance.
To view the 45 Criteria, please click HERE.