» First Accreditation for Imaging Services Awarded

21 December, 2010

The Cobalt Unit Appeal Fund has become the first UK imaging service to be accredited to the ISAS Standard by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). This landmark achievement was celebrated at a special presentation ceremony held at their Cheltenham base. It was attended by all principal parties, and local dignitaries.

ISAS (Imaging Services Accreditation Scheme) enables diagnostic imaging services to achieve national recognition as having met the exacting requirements set out in the (ISAS) Standard and also other UKAS accreditation conditions. The Standard, jointly owned by The College of Radiographers (CoR) and The Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) was specifically developed for UK organisations providing diagnostic imaging services to both within the NHS and private sector. ISAS promotes best practice by comprehensively addressing patient experience, clinical effectiveness, patient and staff safety, and efficient utilisation of resources.

On presenting the certificate to Peter Sharpe, Cobalt’s Chief Executive, Lord Jamie Lindsay, UKAS Chairman, said: “UKAS is delighted to participate in this event which acknowledges the tremendous efforts made by all parties to achieve the first UKAS accreditation to the ISAS Standard. By participating in the accreditation process, Cobalt has not only shown its willingness to be open and transparent, but also that it is constantly working to develop and improve both clinical and patient-related outcomes.”

On receiving their certificate, Peter Sharpe, Chief Executive, Cobalt said: “This is a very proud moment for all of us at Cobalt. Staff worked hard to achieve the ISAS accreditation, the process has been rigorous and challenging; it has helped us develop and improve services and also put in place a system for continual review and development. It is with great pleasure that we accept the ISAS Accreditation Certificate. We are also delighted to be the first ISAS accredited organisation, confirming that we provide a patient focused safe and efficient diagnostic imaging service.”

Commenting on the future for ISAS accreditation, Dr Jane Barrett, RCR President, said: “We congratulate Cobalt on its accreditation. We look forward to the accreditation of further diagnostic imaging services across the UK, highlighting radiology as a specialty leading on the highest standards of service provision and a real focus on quality improvement.”

Chris Wiltsher, Former Chair of The RCR Clinical Radiology Patients' Liaison Group stated: “Cobalt's current and future patients will benefit from knowing that the service has been rigorously assessed and will be monitored for the next four years. All patients will benefit from this first step in driving up the quality of care in imaging services.”

Highlighting the increasing importance of accreditation in a changing health environment, Professor Audrey Patterson, SCoR Director of Professional Policy said. “It is great to see the first ever accreditation under ISAS. In the context of changes in commissioning of health care in England and of continuing scrutiny of quality care in all parts of the UK, it is more than ever appropriate that diagnostic imaging services are able to objectively demonstrate high standards of delivery. The core involvement of patients in the ISAS accreditation process adds even greater value to Cobalt’s achievement.”

The event provided the opportunity for the scheme owners to thank a number of individuals who played a significant role in bringing the scheme to fruition. In particular, Dr. Valmai Cook, Stewart Whitley and Chris Wiltsher, who together worked on the final iteration of the ISAS Standard; Peter Kelley for developing the Assessor Training Course, and also the members of the first Assessment Team namely Mary Carroll, Dr. Simon Girling, and Debbie Love.