National accreditation recognises innovation of NNUH Anaesthetics Department
Anaesthetists at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital have been recognised for providing the highest quality care to their patients. The prestigious Anaesthesia Clinical Services Accreditation (ACSA) from the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) was presented at a ceremony on Friday 15 November.
ACSA is the RCoA’s peer-reviewed scheme that promotes quality improvement and the highest standards of anaesthetic service. To receive accreditation, departments are expected to demonstrate high standards in areas such as patient experience, patient safety and clinical leadership.
Engagement with the scheme entails a period of detailed self-assessment against the ACSA standards which is followed by an intensive two-day visit from six members of the RCoA. Following this visit it was confirmed that NNUH had achieved 100% compliance with the stringent ACSA standards, enabling them to receive accredited status.
Debbie O’Hare, ACSA lead and NNUH Consultant Anaesthetist, said: “This accreditation is the culmination of three years of dedicated effort by all our staff and the determination of our teams to ensure that they are providing best in class care for our patients has been fantastic. As only the second hospital in the region to be recognised with this accreditation, our patients can feel absolutely assured that our anaesthetics services will provide them with excellent care, driven by innovation and underpinned by best practice”
Amongst the areas of excellence identified by the review team were a number of bespoke IT systems which were designed and created by Consultant Anaesthetist David Nunn who has a keen personal interest in computer programming.
“As a user of the systems, I’m often best placed to know exactly what we need from them, making adaptations that facilitate best practice and innovations which drive services,” said David. “When systems are simple to use, such as those we’ve built for managing our emergency theatre list and for HDU bed availability, they become tools in enabling excellent care for our patients.”
The team were also commended for their work in a number of other areas including the introduction of a supernumerary consultant to provide direct support for trainees and to help reduce delays for patients undergoing emergency surgery. They were also noted as being ahead of the curve in terms of robust escalation procedures and the presence of the airway technician role.
Professor Ravi Mahajan, President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, said: “I would like to offer my personal congratulations to the entire anaesthetic department on achieving ACSA accreditation. It is richly deserved and demonstrates their commitment to providing the best possible care for their patients.
“Patient engagement is a key focus of what we do as a medical Royal College and it was impressive to see the many innovative practices taking place at the hospital which help them keep patients as the primary focus and deliver excellent flexibility to match patient’s needs.”
NNUH Chief Executive Sam Higginson added: “Patients across the hospital will require involvement from our anaesthetics team, from those having surgery in our theatres to women requiring the input of an anaesthetist during labour. As a specialty which is central to the journey of so many of our patients, I’m delighted that the team have been recognised with this accreditation and would like to thank them for their dedication towards achieving such high standards of care.”