Clinical services specification published

BSI, the business standards company, has published PAS 1616, Healthcare – Provision of clinical services – Specification, in association with the Clinical Services Accreditation Alliance (CSAA) to help clinical services providers deliver efficient services which are good value for money.

PAS 1616 covers the full range of services from preventative care through all aspects of care that clinical service users and their carers encounter on their journey, from first contact with a primary care health professional through to their exit from the clinical service, including home care. It includes requirements for clinical users with complex needs and for clinical services to seek and adopt innovation when that is considered appropriate. 

Healthcare provision is becoming increasingly challenging, with clinical service users presenting more complex needs under constrained resources. There is also a growing need to demonstrate to stakeholders such as regulators, commissioners, funders and system planners that requirements are being met and improvements implemented. Healthcare is provided in a wide range of facilities and settings, from public health, which includes screening and vaccinations in schools, to end-of-life care in specialist clinical services and in the home. 

PAS 1616 aims to facilitate collaboration and communication across the different clinical services and healthcare providers that make up a clinical pathway, providing them with consistency of structure, terminology and communications. This can allow clinical services, staff members and leadership team ownership over the clinical service and empowerment to act within a clearly given remit. 

According to BSI, the benefits of PAS 1616 include:


  • Compliance with PAS 1616 can provide clarity to clinical service users about what they can expect from the clinical service
  • A clinical service can continually self-assess and improve, regardless of whether there is any existing external evaluation scheme within that clinical service.
  •  Service and systems planners and funders can commission on the basis of adherence to the requirements of the PAS
  •  It has the potential to reduce the burden and increase the effectiveness of regulation by helping clinical services to maintain robust records and documentation which could be used to show compliance with regulations.

Anne Hayes, head of market development for governance and resilience at BSI, said: “PAS 1616 provides CEOs, managers, and clinical leaders with a framework to follow for their clinical service; a first step in the long-term aim of raising standards and improving quality. It aims to fill a strategic and organisational gap by providing a structure and guidance for clinical services, thereby saving time and reducing wasted resources. Any clinical service can now review its current level of provision and create a roadmap for improvement.” 

PAS 1616 covers clinical service planning and clinical service definition; leadership, strategy and management; person-centred treatment and/or care; risk and safety; clinical effectiveness; clinical service users with complex needs; staffing a clinical service; improvement, innovation, and transformation; and educating the future workforce. It covers clinical services within hospital settings, but it not exclusively for such clinical services. It does not cover service-specific requirements for an individual clinical service


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