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Final hospital trust joins MPACE pilot programme

THE final participant in the Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering (MPACE) pilot programme has been announced.

Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has gained accreditation to BS 70000:2017 in the area of Medical Equipment Management.

Medical physics and clinical engineering impacts on virtually every patient care pathway and contributes significantly to the delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and to the management of risk. The MPACE scheme was developed at the request of NHS England and is supported by IPEM. UKAS accreditation of the scheme provides confidence in the competence of an organisation to deliver reliable and safe services.

Adam Armstrong, Cambridge University Hospital’s Technical Services Manager for Clinical Engineering, said: ‘As a department, Clinical Engineering has been ISO 9001 and ISO 13485 certified for many years. Being part of the BS70000 (MPACE) pilot we found that the technical requirements and level of assessment necessary for BS70000 accreditation has been of a much greater level of detail than previous audits/assessments that we have experienced.

‘We found the assessment process is much more evidence-based and focuses not only on having processes in place but also on providing evidence that processes have been verified and approved prior to implementation. This has led to improvements in the level of service provided and an increase in the confidence in the quality management system as a whole, ultimately leading to improvements not only within the department but also in delivering better patient care across the Trust.

‘Furthermore, the process has allowed us to identify and improve upon staff training and assessment which has helped us in ensuring that we can show that our staff are trained and competent.’

Dr David Compton, Project Manager for MPACE at the UK Accreditation Service, said: ‘Congratulations to Adam and his team for reaching this landmark and gaining accreditation.  It is pleasing to see that all the hard work in implementing the necessary requirements to meet BS 70000:2017 has enabled improvements to the system, while gaining assurance on the quality of the service being provided.’

MPACE Assisted Application Service

While Cambridge University Hospital has gained accreditation, UKAS is now supporting other Services gaining MPACE accreditation through its new Assisted Application Service (AAS).  The MPACE AAS provides services with a mixture of eLearning material and webinar modules which take them through the different requirements of the standard in a timeframe to meet their needs.

Paul Hinton, Consultant Clinical Scientist at Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, is currently progressing through the Assisted Application Service.

He said: ‘We signed up to the UKAS Assisted Application Service at the end of last year and have been working closely with UKAS to understand the requirements of BS 70000 in a staged approach, whilst reviewing and updating our current processes.  Working through the modules with AAS has made the process more manageable and has enabled us to identify gaps and improvements in our existing processes. The AAS is also able to provide feedback on the applicability of proposed solutions to address the gaps.

‘There is a lot of work required to demonstrate compliance to BS 70000, but we are already seeing the benefits through better procedural structures and rationalisation of our processes – it is bringing a new rigour to the management of our extremely complex processes.’

Gaining accreditation to BS 70000:2017 provides independent and impartial assurance to a Services senior management and other stakeholders that it is delivering reliable and safe services.  As part of the requirements of BS 70000 there is a need for Senior Management to demonstrate commitment to the development and implementation of services which are patient focussed, show a high level of quality and safety and have a process of continual improvement.