Introduction to MTP Audit

The aim of the MTP audit process is to assess the quality of care provided to patients on the methadone treatment protocol to ensure that it meets national and international best practice standards.

The HSE requires completion of an annual satisfactory audit to comply with level 1 and 2 contracts.

This audit process is overseen by the Audit Review Group (ARG) which is a joint ICGP/HSE committee and administered by the Substance Misuse Programme (SMP) at the ICGP. The Audit Review Group for Substance Misuse reports to the ICGP Quality and Standards Committee.

The audit assesses their compliance with the MTP Self Audit Criteria informed by a range of guidelines including the ICGP guidelines 'Working with Opiate Users in the Primary Care Setting'.

The purpose of the audit is to improve patient care and safety, give you an opportunity for reflection on your practice and provide an educational tool. This audit can be used for your annual Professional Competence audit requirement (once in a 5 year cycle) providing it meets the Medical Council guidelines. Alternatively, you can record it for internal CPD credits with 1 hour = 1 credit.

The Terms of Reference for the Joint HSE/ICGP Audit Review Group (ARG) for Substance Misuse - Methadone Treatment Protocol are available here.

How the audit is carried out?

There are two different types of audit: self audit and external audit.

Self Audit

If you are currently practising as a Level 1 or Level 2 trained GP, you will be provided with an online self-audit tool to collect data on a random selection of your patients. Survey Monkey was chosen for this tool as it as felt to be easy to use, intuitive and many GPs have previous experience with it. This tool has been in use for 3 years now and, based on your feedback, the ICGP Substance Misuse Programme team have streamlined it to make it more efficient and user-friendly.

You will receive an email with you link. Once you have completed the survey, you should email and confirm your Irish Medical Council number. Once you have done so, you will receive a PDF copy of your compiled audit data within one week of submission and the final result of your audit from the Audit Review Group (ARG) Committee within one month of submission.

Please note: the audit is on a maximum of 10 patients. If you have more than 10 patients, you will need to select a random sample of patients to include. You should select a four week period in which to carry out the audit and this period should be during the previous six months and not a period when you were absent from practice.

If you are currently practising as a Level 1 or Level 2 GP and are interested in completing this audit, please email and we will send you with your link.

If you would like to see an example of the questions please click on the link below. (Please note that this is for guidance only. It is not an active audit.)

Question list for 2019 MTP Audit

External Audit

A random selection of 5% of GPs will be selected for an external audit. This will involve carrying out the online self-audit (see above), followed by a practice visit by the Clinical Audit Facilitator (CAF).

Please note: External audits may be arranged if deemed necessary by the ARG Committee in circumstances where some of the audit standards have not been met in the self-audit. It is also a requirement for Level 2 Accreditation.

General Information on Audit

Guidelines and criteria for the MTP audit are available here.

For general information on audits, please see the guides and toolkit located here.

Ethics and Audit

In general, clinical audit does not require informed consent (HSE, 2013). Members of a healthcare team (or their support staff, for example, clinical audit staff) delivering direct care to a service user can perform a review of service user data without consent. However, it is good practice to inform service users that, as part of normal care processes, personal data may be used for audit and quality improvement purposes and also about the importance of the clinical audit function in the service. This may be achieved through informing service users through a statement of information practices or leaflets or posters which are clearly displayed / made available by the service provider (HIQA, October 2012).

For information on patient consent, please click here.

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