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Following a service's accreditation journey
5 April 2024

Cornwall Pulmonary Rehabilitation Team (CPRT) - Rachel Williams

We sat down with Rachel Williams, a respiratory physiotherapist and co-clinical lead South West Respiratory Network. The PRSAS team will be following the Cornwall Pulmonary Rehabilitation Team through a series of blogs to discuss their experiences of the PRSAS accreditation journey from beginning to end.

Historically, the Cornwall Pulmonary Rehabilitation Team (CPRT) had three PR services, and they recently underwent an official relaunch on December 20 to merge their services and will now be reporting as one countywide service – Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. This event provided an opportunity for the team to come together with senior management to bring accreditation to the forefront of discussions. Recounting those first meetings, Rachel outlined how important it was to ensure that the accreditation process was visible to senior management, to ensure that teams are as supported as possible. The CPRT now have their pathway to accreditation as a standing topic during the clinical quality assurance group.

CPRT have had strong levels of support from their quality improvement team, who reviewed the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Services Accreditation Scheme (PRSAS) standards and came back to Rachel with a list of standards they will be able to help complete. In particular, the QI team will be able to assist with domain 7: improvement, innovation and transformation. By starting these conversations with the QI team early in the process, CPRT has ensured that the completion of a QI project will happen at the same time as the finalisation of their evidence collection, so they can upload evidence in one go and be ready for submission/to request an assessment.

Additionally, a PRSAS assessor has started as team lead for the community rehab and inpatient team and will be providing the teams with input during their Southwestern Respiratory Network meetings. The network are planning on going through a different domain with the seven system of the South West, PRSAS community of practice every other month, and the PRSAS assessor will be able to highlight what should be focused on and highlight any documents which can be reused as evidence across several standards.

Rachel highlighted that throughout this process it was incredibly important that the work planned for upcoming months did not lead to staff burnout. The support they have had from senior management will be a huge help with this – taking it step by step whilst taking advantage of the collaboration opportunities, as well as emphasising the need for protected time.

The team at CPRT also identified potential challenges for their teams whilst completing PRSAS accreditation. One of the first reactions to change can be resistance, and Rachel found that there was some anxiety around changing things within the service – especially when their team are already creating really strong outcomes for their patients. The regular meetings that have been set up for the CPRT will hopefully ensure this process is a shared learning opportunity for all staff within the CPRT, at all levels.

A common challenge amongst services with community venues is evidencing strength testing. The team at CPRT will be working on an exciting quality improvement project, evaluating the use of TheraBands. This six-month project will be run by a team including a physiotherapist, occupational therapist and sustainability GP – we can’t wait to hear more about their project’s progression in the next catch-up with the team!

“If you break it down bit by bit into all the domains, it’s not any one individual’s responsibility to do ALL of it – we all need to work together as a team and it’s a shared workload.”

CPRT have had a strong start in working towards accreditation: they have established strong support with senior management, ensured accreditation will be a recurring topic of discussion and begun to discuss their domain 7 approach with their QI team. Other ongoing work within the team includes signing off their mission statement and vision documents, redesigning their website for CFT and the ICB, and of course attending our monthly domain sessions. This initial approach has included planning the larger aspects of work while also recognising ‘quick wins’, which maintain the team’s engagement and momentum.

Thank-you to Rachel Williams for giving us a small insight into your accreditation journey so far! Focusing this time on the fantastic outcomes for accreditation from your relaunch and the important fostering of relationships within your teams – we look forward to chatting with you soon to see how things are travelling!

To start your accreditation journey, visit the PRSAS website or reach out to our team on 


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