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North Bristol NHS Trust - accreditation Q&A blog
22 June 2022

Lisa Smith

The QPIDS team spoke to Immunology and Allergy Lead Nurse, Lisa Smith from North Bristol NHS Trust about QPIDS accreditation. North Bristol was successfully accredited in November 2021.

LB: ‘How did the accreditation process benefit your service?’

LS: Before I embarked on the process, I was a complete sceptic. I am a convert, and I can see the benefit of accreditation. Accreditation enabled us to shine a light on a lot of things we were doing but couldn’t demonstrate. Accreditation has allowed us to instigate a formalised set of weekly team meetings, set up a set of competencies for nurses, engage with our patients more and consider in more details the patient perspective. We have developed our website and made a video of the patient journey from car park to the clinic, and it has focused our thinking about what we might think we are offering compared to what the patient perspective is.

LB: ‘How did you keep your team on track and motivated?’

LS: Myself and one of the consultants had been asked to lead on the project. I created a spreadsheet and used a traffic light system. We put every standard and the evidence required on the spreadsheet and marked where we were in terms of achieving each standard. Throughout the process we kept referring to the spreadsheet and delegated jobs out.

LB: ‘How did the team feel when they were awarded? What does it mean to you?’

LS: Absolutely ecstatic because it was the culmination of a long, big piece of work. The team were proud! We always liked to think that we were giving a good service but to have formal affirmation felt good. We had some lovely comments from the assessors, and it just reaffirmed to the team that they were doing a good job. Everybody was buzzing about it for quite a while.

Caption: Lisa Smith and her team at North Bristol NHS FT

LB: ‘What did you find challenging about the process?’

LS: Keeping the ball rolling was quite challenging. When we first started and went through the standards, it felt like a mountain to climb but that’s where the spreadsheet was good. We could see what we had achieved as things gradually turned to green. The key was breaking it down into small chunks and setting yourself mini deadlines. It was important to present where we were at each team meeting to keep the entire team on board. It became a regular agenda item for a while but that helped keep the momentum going.

LB: ‘What advice or top tips would you give other services on their accreditation journey?’

LS: Make sure you delegate because it is too easy to try and take everything on yourself, but it’s more manageable if it’s shared with the team. Running through all the standards to begin to get a feel for where you are because although it seems like a mountain to climb, you might already be achieving or easily identify areas you could evidence.

LB: ‘Anything else…’

LS: It creates a good profile within your own trust. It has brought immunology to the attention of senior level management. We got to fly our own flag with our management team. The whole experience was supportive and positive, from the first call with the lead assessor right the way through, it has never felt like they were trying to trip us up.

Laura Bewley, our new programme coordinator for QPIDS conducted this interview. We want to thank lead nurse Lisa Smith from North Bristol for giving up her time for this interview. We will be releasing more content like this in the future, so look out for it!


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