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This paper is concerned with the effectiveness of clinical audit as the principal quality control and improvement process in the UK National Health Service (NHS). The paper starts by tracing the historical development of clinical audit in the UK within the context of the major management reforms introduced within the NHS in the last ten years. The paper presents the findings of a major study of published audits within the Oxford, Four Counties and Anglia region. This study provides a snapshotdoi:10.1093/intqhc/8.2.141 pmid:8792169 fatcat:vrv3eyh3ffd4rfvxhgsjuxuypa