» Cobalt Unit Appeal Fund (Cheltenham Imaging Centre)

09 March, 2015

The Cobalt Unit Appeal Fund (Cheltenham Imaging Centre) is the first UK imaging service to be accredited by UKAS for Imaging Services Accreditation. Their accreditation demonstrates the organisation’s competence to deliver against key quality measures related to patient and clinical outcomes.

The medical charity has over 40 years experience delivering imaging services to NHS, private, and medical insurance clients. Sixty percent of Cobalt’s patients are from the NHS. The scope of Cobalt’s new accreditation demonstrates its on-going commitment to the delivery of the highest quality patient focused care by competent staff working in a safe environment. To achieve their accreditation, Cobalt volunteered to verify their conformity to the standard to a team of UKAS trained technical and lay assessors responsible for assessing their organisation.

Niky Sykes, Head of IT and Communications at Cobalt, who project managed the accreditation process said: “Our staff were all unanimous in their support of going through the accreditation process. The Standard is so developmental that it gave us a fresh look and complete service analysis and re-evaluation helping us to refine our processes and undeniably improve service delivery and patient care. We thought we already did a lot brilliantly! However accreditation helped us discover ways of improving and then ensuring we continue to improve.”




Peter Sharpe, CEO at Cobalt added: “At the same time, as thousands of others, we faced the requirement to register with CQC by 1st October 2010. Being non specific to imaging the guidance was general, making self assessment difficult – in short it was a struggle to be fully confident that we fully met the legislation. The standard embraces CQC core values which helped us implement and evidence, giving us the confidence to know we meet the new legislation. Personally I think accreditation is the only clear and comprehensive tool for assessing CQC (before their inspectors walk through your door!) and developing your imaging service. Following our assessment we are already using this as a benchmark and looking towards our future development.”

UKAS accreditation is a formal declaration of the competence, quality and safety of the imaging service and gives confidence to patients, funders/purchasers, staff and management of imaging services departments.

Since the launch of the accreditation programme in 2009 many imaging services both public and private are participating in the scheme and a number of them are due to be accredited in 2011.