In December, NHS providers received a joint letter from the heads of NHS England, the CQC and NHS Improvement. The letter outlines their position on Accreditation Schemes for Diagnostic Services provided to NHS Patients in Provider Trust Organisations. The letter said:
NHS Provider Organisations
Dear Chief Executive Officer/Medical Director
RE: NHS England, NHS Improvement and Care Quality Commission’s position on Diagnostic Accreditation Schemes
We write to outline NHS England (NHS E), NHS Improvement (NHS I) and the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) position on Accreditation Schemes for Diagnostic Services provided to NHS Patients in Provider Trust Organisations (Appendix 1: United Kingdom Accreditation schemes).
Diagnostic services underpin more than 80% of clinical pathways and account for a considerable proportion of NHS expenditure. Diagnostics is fundamental to patient care, therefore it is increasingly important that we promote high quality diagnostic provision and are assured that patients are accessing services that meet government recognised accreditation standards.
Therefore, NHS England, NHS Improvement and the CQC are committed to, and strongly endorse, participation in accreditation schemes for diagnostics services (Appendix 2 and 3). Participants in these schemes undergo a rigorous independent review of their services, at regular intervals in time, and have systems in place for ongoing and continuous quality management and service improvement.
CQC will consider the accreditation status of diagnostic services as part of their assessment of NHS Trusts. It will use a Trust’s participation in these accreditation schemes, and their performance in these schemes, as evidence of the quality of the diagnostic services and of the Trust’s commitment to quality improvement. This evidence will inform CQC’s judgement; both of core services that include diagnostic services and of the quality of leadership overall – as assessed as part of the Trust-wide well-led review that is now a key part of CQC’s monitoring, inspection and regulation of NHS Trusts.
Further information on CQC’s use of accreditation can be found in Appendix 3. Any further questions can be directed to Claire Land, Acute Policy Manager (Claire.email@example.com).
Prof Stephen Powis, Medical Director, NHS England
Prof Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of Hospitals, CQC
Dr Kathy McLean, Executive Medical Director and Chief Operating Officer, NHS improvement