» UK’s first IQIPS accreditation for vascular laboratory services granted to IVS

24 March, 2015

Independent Vascular Services (IVS) Ltd has become the UK’s first vascular laboratory to gain UKAS accreditation under the Improving Quality in Physiological Services (IQIPS) programme. The accreditation award is for IVS’ range of vascular ultrasound services carried out at five of its sites across the North West of England.

Independent assessment and accreditation is a key part of the Royal College of Physicians’ (RCP) IQIPS Programme. UKAS has been contracted by the RCP to deliver the national assessment and accreditation service for all eight physiological specialisms within the IQIPS programme; audiology, cardiac physiology, gastrointestinal physiology, neurophysiology, ophthalmic and vision science, respiratory and sleep physiology, urodynamics and vascular science.

Founded in 1999, IVS is now the largest independent specialist provider of vascular ultrasound services in the UK. It performs over 60,000 ultrasound investigations per year in both public and private hospitals, representing over 70% of all vascular scans performed in the Greater Manchester region.

Richard Pole, Operations Director, led the IQIPS accreditation project within IVS. He said: “After 18months of hard work by everyone within IVS I am delighted that we have been granted IQIPS accreditation. Achieving this badge of quality is something we are particularly proud of, as it represents independent external recognition and affirmation of our good practices, giving confidence to both patients and health care professionals alike.

Paul Stennett, UKAS Chief Executive said: “Congratulations to IVS on becoming the first vascular laboratory to achieve IQIPS accreditation. UKAS accreditation already underpins a wide range of diagnostic activities within the healthcare sector assuring the public about the quality of services that patients receive. UKAS has been working closely with RCP on a plan for the staged roll out of accreditation to each IQIPS specialism. To date 16 audiology services have been granted IQIPS accreditation and I am delighted that IVS’ accreditation marks the successful expansion of the IQIPS programme into the vascular science discipline.”

Dr Kerry Tinkler, the clinical lead for the IQIPS programme at the RCP, said: “It is fantastic to have the first accredited vascular services provider! It is great news for vascular ultrasound services, as IVS is one of the UK’s largest providers. I hope that this will prompt other vascular and diagnostic services to join the IQIPS programme and sign up to delivering high quality care and services for patients. IQIPS accreditation involves assessment against a standard that has been professionally developed by an expert group of over 80 healthcare scientists, doctors and other professionals. All these professionals are involved in physiological science services and we have carried out extensive piloting and consultation to ensure it is a robust programme.”

Richard Pole concluded. “IQIPS/UKAS accreditation is a process and not an event and we are now at the start of a four year assessment cycle. I would recommend any vascular lab to engage with the IQIPS process, as we have found that becoming accredited has driven up the quality of our services and supports the sharing of good practice. It will also hopefully enhance the awareness of vascular ultrasound as a profession across the UK, and could be used as leverage for change.”

The IQIPS programme has been sponsored by Professor Sue Hill, Chief Scientific Officer at the Department of Health. She said. “IQIPS puts Physiological Scientific Services at the leading edge of continuous quality improvement and quality assurance in the NHS. It provides a mark of quality for commissioners, providers and users of service with patient quality outcomes at its core.”