Welsh Inspectorate Recognises Anaesthesia Accreditation Scheme

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) has recognised the NICE-accredited Royal College of Anaesthetists’ Anaesthesia Clinical Services Accreditation (ACSA) scheme. Hospitals that take part in the scheme will now have the opportunity to demonstrate the high quality of anaesthesia services and patient care they provide.

ACSA is a voluntary peer-reviewed scheme aimed at improving the quality of anaesthetic clinical services within both NHS and independent healthcare organisations.

Sixteen anaesthetic departments across the United Kingdom are already ACSA accredited, and another 94 departments have registered their interest and are currently working through the accreditation process.

According to the Royal College of Anaesthetics, organisations engaging with ACSA benefit from:

  • a structured and supportive process for improving their anaesthetic services
  • receiving an expert advisory on-site review
  • benchmarking against standards and anonymised local, regional and national performance
  • engagement of staff in service improvement
  • using a quality mark to denote their commitment to quality and patient care
  • a plaque to display in the department
  • being more attractive to potential employees and trainees

Dr Kate Chamberlain, Chief Executive of Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, said:

“Healthcare Inspectorate Wales recognises ACSA standards and takes account of ACSA accreditation status as part of its surgical inspection methodology introduced in 2017.”

Dr Liam Brennan, President at the Royal College of Anaesthetists, said:

“Patient safety is at the heart of the Royal College of Anaesthetists and ACSA’s work. Our accreditation scheme’s robust standards encourage anaesthetic departments to make constant improvements to the patient care and the services they provide.

“We are delighted that the Welsh health regulator has recognised the College’s standards for anaesthetic accreditation. ACSA accredited departments across Wales can now demonstrate their commitment to delivering and maintaining a high level of patient care and safety.

“As the single largest group of hospital doctors, anaesthetists play a critical role in the care of two-thirds of all hospital patients, both inside and out of the operating theatre.

“Following recognition from Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, we have written to all anaesthetic clinical directors in Wales to encourage their engagement with the ACSA scheme and discuss ways in which their departments can become accredited.”


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