Northern Ireland Trust granted MPACE accreditation

THE radiotherapy physics team at the North West Cancer Centre has become the first service in Northern Ireland to gain accreditation under the Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering (MPACE) scheme. 

Part of the Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT), the North West Cancer Centre joins The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust (Medical Equipment Management) and Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (Radiotherapy Physics) as the UK’s first services to be accredited to BS 70000 under the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) MPACE scheme.

Dr Andrew Reilly, Head of Radiotherapy Physics at WHSCT and an IPEM member, said: ‘UKAS accreditation gives confidence that the service being offered meets an externally set standard, is continually improving and is centred on delivering high quality patient care.  The rigorous independent assessment of practical activities was particularly valuable because it encouraged the critical evaluation and development of management, scientific and technical processes in line with established best practices.  Working to address feedback points has engaged the whole team, with the service becoming stronger and more cohesive as a result.’

Dr David Compton, Head of MPACE Development at UKAS, said: ‘Well done to Western Health and Social Care Trust, who were part of the MPACE pilot programme, in gaining accreditation to BS 70000 for their Radiotherapy Physics activities.

‘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.  It is therefore particularly pleasing that accreditation has provided a platform for the Trust to review and develop its radiotherapy services to demonstrate a consistent high quality and safe service.

‘Whilst maintaining high standards of patient care remains the priority, implementing the principles and requirements of BS 70000 also provides a reliable framework for dealing with business continuity situations such as Covid-19.’

Echoing Dr Compton’s sentiments on continuity of care during the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Reilly added: ‘The systems we’ve developed as part of the accreditation work are helping us manage our ongoing activities at this time whilst we’re under severe pressure.  We have sound procedures to fall back on, and these are helping us ensure that we continue to deliver a safe service to patients even whilst implementing new techniques in an extremely expedited fashion.  This is when accreditation really shows its worth.’