UK first: all diagnostic services at QEHB achieve accreditation

University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB), a founder member of BHP, has announced that it is the first Trust nationally to achieve official accreditation for the diagnostic services it offers at a single hospital – the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB).

Eight services – audiology, gastro-intestinal physiology, lung function & sleep, vascular science, cardiac physiology, neurophysiology, urodynamics and imaging have been fully accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), following site visits throughout 2018.

UHB has also worked closely with UKAS to improve the accreditation process for all specialities, as well as producing a model for accreditation that can be shared with NHS Trusts across the West Midlands and nationally.

“I’m delighted that all of QEHB’s diagnostic services have been accredited by UKAS.

“I’d like to thank all the teams involved for their hard work and commitment, as well as the support of senior colleagues such as QEHB’s Executive Chief Operating Officer Cherry West and Director of Research, Development and Innovation Hilary Fanning.

“As the first Trust in the country to achieve whole-site diagnostic accreditation, we have created a model that can be shared with Trusts to benefit patients and staff nationwide.

“Although accreditation is not mandatory, it does provide a vital framework to benchmark our services and assures our patients that, regardless of the speciality, the quality of our diagnostic services is consistently high.”    

Dr Debra Balderson, Diagnostic Services Accreditation Lead

In recognition of her work on the diagnostic services accreditation project, Debra also received the Excellence in Healthcare Quality award, which was presented as part of the Chief Scientific Officer’s Annual Conference in March.

“Diagnostic service teams are essential for the quality evaluation of illness and conditions in our patients, but many more now monitor and/or deliver interventional treatments both in the hospital and domiciliary setting,” explained Professor Brendan Cooper, Consultant Clinical Scientist.

“The days of only doctors and nurses delivering treatments are being replaced with these MDT approaches with healthcare scientists often in the centre of delivery.

“As the Long Term Plan goes forward, we will see more of this care delivery style.”

As UHB is the lead organisation for the West Midlands Genomic Medicine Centre, the successful model for accreditation will also be shared with the other 15 Trusts across the region that have recruited patients to the pioneering 100,000 Genomes Project, offering personalised medicine and genetic diagnoses for patients with some cancers or certain rare diseases.

UKAS accreditation offers reassurance to patients, commissioners and other healthcare providers that the service being delivered has been independently evaluated against recognised standards.

As well as recognising and validating success, accreditation helps to continually drive up quality and assure consistency of services.