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Introducing the Physical Sciences Quality Improvement Programme (PSQIP)

Details of PSQIP – a joint programme between AHCS and the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) to develop and implement service accreditation standards for Physical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) services.

The Academy for Healthcare Science and Institute  for Physics and Engineering in Medicine are coming together to develop a set of service accreditation standards for PSE services, in an initiative supported by the Chief Scientific Officer for England.

The aim of accreditation is threefold:

  • to drive improvement in patient safety, patient experience and quality of service outcomes
  • to provide improved quality and consistency of Physical Sciences and Engineering services through independent accreditation
  • to provide guidance for commissioners to ensure that patient safety is maintained [particularly in the “Any Qualified Provider” (AQP) and specialist commissioning environment]

The project will build on the work already carried out in Physiological Sciences with the IQIPS (Improving Quality in Physiological Sciences) accreditation scheme. It will also link in with the many other standards that PSE services already work within such as the requirements of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA), the Cancer Peer Review standards and  external accreditation to ISO9001:2008,  EN13485 and CHKS for Radiotherapy.


What will the PSQIP project do?

The project will develop and pilot accreditation standards for Physical Sciences and Engineering services. It will then consult on the accreditation standards and methodology, implement a self assessment tool and appoint an accreditation body. Finally the aim will be to embed plans for a longer term, sustainable programme structure.


How will the programme work?

The entire programme process will be informed by close working with stakeholders from across PSE services, Healthcare Science and the wider NHS.

The AHCS has appointed Dr Peter Jarritt, past President of IPEM, to lead the work on the PSQIP. He will be supported by the team within the Academy. Work on the service specific accreditation standards will be led by IPEM. The programme is seeking advice from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service to help develop the specification for the accreditation body for the scheme. There will be an open tender for the accreditation body to run the scheme.


What happens next?

IPEM will now start to recruit members to the Standards Groups. The role of the groups will be to develop specialism specific interpretation and implementation guidance from the over-arching accreditation standard. Input will be sought from a range of professional groups and organisations.

In the coming month, work will start on the identification and recruitment of pilot sites, development of evidence and commentary to support the standards for the pilot and other specialisms,  The intention is to consult on the standards and programme by the end of March 2014. We are also looking to hold some stakeholder events over the coming months to help inform the development of the programme.


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