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A conversation with an accredited service
31 January 2024

Christopher Dalton - specialist respiratory physiotherapist

To celebrate the beginning of the new year, we sat down with Chris Dalton (specialist respiratory physiotherapist), from Enhanced Respiratory Service (ERS) – Rochdale Infirmary to congratulate his team for becoming accredited!


First off, congratulations - accreditation is no small feat!

How did you keep your team on track and motivated to understand the value of accreditation?  

I think as a lead, I am very up front in terms of what tasks we need. Rather than telling people what we need to do and how to do it, I prefer to ask the rest of the service, what do you think about how we do this? I try to involve the team in every step of the process – so everybody is involved!

Monthly meetings have helped as well, because that settles the agenda of what are we going to tackle next. All of the accreditation standards can look like a mammoth task, so I think breaking it down into little sections is a lot more helpful.


How did the accreditation process benefit your service?

I think it benefits the service greatly so! The accreditation process got us to look at the service as a whole, from both the patient facing aspect to the behind-the-scenes aspect, such as admin processes, data recording, etc. The service is much more streamlined now.  

I also think in terms of the Greater Manchester area it’s been really good, it’s helped to create more shared learning and a cohesive environment. We now have monthly network meetings where we discuss accreditation. Greater Manchester have also created a new education booklet and website that have led to a lot more information sharing between services which is fantastic.

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

Relieved! It feels like a massive achievement, because I know how much work the team and myself have put into getting there. We’re proud to be one of the first services to be accredited, I think that shows it’s a massive thing - the comms that have gone out around the community have been fantastic!

We are in one of the most deprived areas in the country, and for us to be up there with other services is great – for both us and the town. A phrase I keep hearing from people is: ‘We put Rochdale on the map!’.


What did you find challenging about the process?

Leading change can be a real challenge – there can be resistance, when you have been doing something for such a long time, but I think involving the whole team every step of the way helps that. There is a of work - we have other caseloads that we are working on, so I think one of the biggest challenges was staying on task. You have to be very structured in your approach to cover all areas with the least amount of work.


What changes have you implemented through the accreditation process that has led to improvements for your patients and staff?

We definitely have more of presence with our community, and our referrers - we have been able to go out to practices to talk to GPs, COPD nurses and really spread awareness about the program and how this has helped. We have really been able to build up our reputation across our trust, we have different services coming to watch our classes which is great!

The recognition the team is getting for all of the hard work is fantastic!

We have introduced a patient exercise booklet, which we created with a patient focus group to make sure it was user friendly and using feedback from the patients and staff – so we made sure we were looking at different perspectives.


What advice or top tips would you give other services on their accreditation journey?

It can look like you are standing at the bottom of a mountain, but just go one standard at a time. Attend the monthly domain sessions, talk to people, talk to other services, share where you’re at!

If you are in doubt that something you are doing is incorrect, the just be open and honest in getting feedback. If you are scared to share what you’re doing because you are not sure if its right or wrong, then you will never know and will always be in doubt.


Thank you Chris, for sharing your experience and giving advice on others going through the accreditation process! As a programme we now have twelve services accredited, with more assessments set for 2024. If you would like to know more about the accreditation pathway and how to get started, click here. 

We have a beginners service training session coming up on 19 Feb – to register for the session, click here. 

To get in touch with the PRSAS office, email


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