Accreditation helps providers manage the impact of Covid-19

Health professional with patient
Date Published


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As the Covid-19 pandemic has taken hold across the globe, healthcare providers have had to quickly adapt to changing work structures and practices to save lives.

In the UK, for the NHS and private sector healthcare providers this has meant adapting capacity to meet changing demands by redesigning services, converting hospital facilities, redeploying staff, and evaluating conditions for admitting patients for elective surgery.

The scale and speed of the initial pandemic outbreak, followed by the subsequent rise in cases, has left many trusts seemingly chasing a moving target when it comes to providing the resources and space needed to continue to provide high-level patient emergency and elective care whilst also making provisions for patients diagnosed with Covid-19.

Private providers have stepped in to help support their NHS colleagues fight the demands put on them by the virus, which means they too have had to rapidly adapt the way they work.

Accreditation and quality management systems help to drive success

Flexibility and the ability to quickly respond to rapidly changing circumstances has been key to the degree of success in these endeavours across all areas of healthcare, not just the NHS. Organisations that have been awarded Capita’s CHKS accreditation have found they were more prepared and therefore more flexible to make changes and adapt to this pandemic environment.

Accreditation makes organisational change easier because systems are in place to highlight strengths and weaknesses and where change has been a success. By providing the mechanism for general quality improvement, it helps providers to gain overall insight and improvement.

The accreditation process encourages healthcare organisations to think more broadly about organisational-wide policies and procedures. As a result, accredited organisations had a head start in enabling change and did not have to start from scratch, creating new standards, policies and procedures.

Robust procedures reduce the stress of change

With accreditation comes the ability to drive culture change. Engaging and communicating with teams across all departments can ensure that everyone has the same message and knows what they are working towards.

Battling Covid-19 has required a significant team effort. Accreditation demands that trusts have robust policy and document control systems in place, which in turn has allowed for the timely adaptation, good communication and accurate record keeping that has been vital when dealing with this pandemic.

Similarly, where departments within hospitals have had to re-orientate their policies, having everything in place to facilitate this has helped reduce the burden and unnecessary stress.

It’s great to see the impact of having achieved these high standards through our accreditation programme, demonstrating high performance and resilience during these challenging times.

"Accreditation of our services by CHKS has been hugely beneficial in driving Quality Improvement at Galway Hospice, and all involved (patients, family members, staff & volunteers) benefit immeasurably."

Dan Keane, Standards and Practice Development Co-ordinator, Galway Hospice Foundation

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