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Accreditation scheme launched to assure standards of patient care


The Cardiology Ward at the John Radcliffe Hospital has become the first at Oxford University Hospitals to be celebrated as part of a new quality assurance scheme for clinical areas at the Trust.

Developed in consultation with staff, the Oxford Scheme for Clinical Accreditation (OxSCA, pronounced 'Oscar') outlines a set of standards clinical wards and departments can use to measure quality and demonstrate improvement in the services they provide.

Clinical areas are evaluated on a series of standards such as patient satisfaction, quality improvement initiatives, staff development, leadership, and clinical audit data.

This is recognised with a platinum, gold, silver, or bronze award. They are presented with the award in the form of a plaque to display their accreditation attainment level. A diamond award can be achieved after two consecutive platinum awards have been achieved by an area.

OxSCA is a national initiative that has been adapted locally at the Trust. It celebrates the positive impact of strong multi-disciplinary practice environments and partnership working through cohesive and proactive team working. This recognises how staff groups work well and effectively together for the benefit of our patients, our staff, and our populations.

Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive Officer; Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer; and Dr Larry Fitton, Divisional Director for the Medicine, Rehabilitation and Cardiac (MRC) division, recently presented a gold accreditation to the team on the John Radcliffe’s Cardiology Ward.

Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer, said: "We were really excited to present the first OxSCA accreditation to the Cardiology Ward at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

"Staff on the ward have worked fantastically well together to deliver quality patient care, and have therefore received a well-deserved gold OxSCA in recognition of their excellence.

"OxSCA will help the Trust provide the highest quality of care we aspire to deliver for patients. It will also recognise and celebrate excellence in practice, while supporting our staff to deliver excellent compassionate care to our patients."

Kate Pearce, Ward Sister on the Cardiology Ward at the John Radcliffe Hospital, said: "I am extremely happy and proud of the entire Cardiology team to be the first area to achieve clinical accreditation within the Trust.

"OxSCA provides a fantastic opportunity for our staff to showcase what we do well and celebrate our successes. The process acts to empower staff to make changes and allows for a culture of continuous improvement, which benefits our staff and our patients."

OxSCA, which assesses a wide range of data digitally via an app along with an assessment visit, engages frontline staff in improving practice in order to influence policies and shape strategy. It also standardises practice in key processes such as patient discharge, staffing, risk assessments for staff and audits.

Each clinical area will be visited by a group of volunteer assessors made up of a mix of clinical and non-clinical staff from the Trust, and a wall plaque which identifies the level of accreditation will be presented.

Eileen Walsh, Chief Assurance Officer, said: "Following recent successful testing of the tool and the processes involved, I am delighted that OxSCA is up and running at the Trust.

"It is a tool aligned to the Trust’s strategic priorities, with the overarching philosophy based on a culture of listening, learning and improving.

"OxSCA is a fantastic opportunity for us to identify and celebrate good practice and local innovations. With its gold accreditation, the Cardiology Ward has proven to be safe, well led, caring, effective, and responsive."

Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive Officer, said: "OxSCA will provide us with a robust and sustainable local assurance tool with Trust-wide comparators.

"Having key measures of clinical care in one overarching framework will enable a comprehensive assessment of quality care provision at the Trust. It will also drive continuous improvement, enhancing patient and staff satisfaction at the same time."

Pictured: Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer, and Dr Bruno Holthof, Chief Executive Officer, present a gold OxSCA to the Cardiology Ward team at the John Radcliffe Hospital