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Health Bull (Edinb). 2000 Jul;58(4):261-6.

The Scottish Programme for Clinical Effectiveness in Reproductive Health (SPCERH): lessons from a three-year programme.

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Dugald Baird Centre, Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, Cornhill Road, Aberdeen.



To describe the work of the Scottish Programme for Clinical Effectiveness in Reproductive Health (SPCERH) in order to draw lessons applicable to other clinical effectiveness programmes.


Overview of an integrated clinical effectiveness programme relating to reproductive health.




The programme is designed to reach all professionals who share responsibility for reproductive healthcare--including obstetrician/gynaecologists, midwives, general practitioners, family planning doctors, commissioners of services and NHS managers.


During its first three-year Workplan, SPCERH has conducted an integrated programme of audit, guideline and educational activities. Findings have been disseminated using multi-faceted approaches including publications, presentations and interactive meetings. Evidence from surveys undertaken within the Programme indicates that clinicians have changed or reconsidered their practice in several key areas in response to audit and guideline recommendations made by the Programme.


As a way of funding and organising clinical effectiveness activities, the integrated Programme has many advantages over the stand-alone Project. These advantages include: enabling the linkage of national audits to national guidelines and other forms of NHS guidance; enabling the re-audit of topics after a time interval sufficient to allow for the implementation of change; the building of expertise within a dedicated team and the use of that expertise across a range of linked projects; the availability of an experienced team which can respond to new priority issues at short notice.

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