Health & Social Care 3 mins read

First MPACE accreditations granted

The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) has granted the first accreditations to BS 70000:2017 under the new Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering (MPACE) accreditation scheme.  Following successful completion of the two year pilot assessment project, the first UKAS accreditations for MPACE have been awarded to The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust (Medical Equipment Management) and Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (Radiotherapy Physics).

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 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM).  UKAS accreditation of the scheme provides confidence in the competence of an organisation to deliver reliable and safe services

Explaining the reasons behind Hull University Teaching Hospitals participation in the MPACE pilot, Richard Whitlam, Quality Manager said: “Our medical physics department has been ISO 9001 certified for many years, but we were looking to increase levels of patient, CCG and professional assurance in the competence of our staff and quality of our service.  Being UKAS accredited under the MPACE scheme means we can easily evidence that our staff is competent and that we deliver a high quality service that is focused on putting patient care first.”

Commenting on the benefits of going through the UKAS accreditation process, Hardus Bosman, Clinical Engineering Manager at The Royal Marsden said: “MPACE assessment is more technically involved than other audits we have experienced.  In addition to improving inaccuracy detection, going through the UKAS accreditation process has helped standardise our policies and procedures.  In turn, this has increased both staff and OEM involvement in the quality management process and helped us improve staff competency levels and training workshops.  The resulting improvements to patient care, together with increased recognition of our department within the Trust, means I would recommend the MPACE scheme to any MPCE department.”

Announcing the awards, David Compton, Section Head of Development at UKAS said.  “Congratulations to The Royal Marsden and Hull University Teaching Hospitals on achieving the first UKAS accreditations to BS 70000 under the new MPACE scheme.  MPACE services have a direct effect on the treatment that nearly every patient receives, so it is vital that high standards are maintained.  The accreditation of MPCE services helps deliver consistently high quality care by maintaining the safety and accuracy of equipment and ensuring that diagnostic and therapeutic procedures are evidence based, safe and effective.  Whilst it is UKAS’s understanding that accreditation of MPACE services is likely to remain voluntary, it could be relied upon to support other commissioning and regulatory requirements, such as CQC inspection visits.”

Phase 1 of the MPACE pilot initially focused on Radiotherapy Physics and the Management of Medical Equipment within Clinical Engineering.  UKAS is working with the relevant experts to include other MPACE service areas (such as Nuclear Medicine, Rehabilitation Engineering and Movement Analysis) in the final accreditation scheme.  Based on the new British Standard BS 70000 Medical physics, clinical engineering and associated scientific services in healthcare – Requirements for quality safety and competence, the pilot successfully established the scope of accreditation for MPACE services, that BS70000 is the appropriate standard to assess against and a robust assessment approach.

For more information on the MPACE accreditation scheme, click here.