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PRSAS 5 year programme anniversary
19 May 2023

Kent Community Health PR - service perspective

We’ve sat down with members of our Pulmonary Rehabilitation community to hear what their experience has been. To kick us off, we’ve talked to Kate Savage (Clinical Lead Physiotherapist) and Pramod Selkar (Head of Service) from Kent Community Health Pulmonary Rehabilitation Team to hear about their journey through the accreditation pathway. Kent Community Health was the fifth service to be accredited by the PRSAS programme in February 2022 and were commended by their patients and managers in their feedback. They’ve gone from strength to strength since their accreditation and have become a pioneer of the PRSAS programme within their network.

“As a service we are enthusiastic about our high-quality, patient-centred care and wanted to develop this through PRSAS accreditation. PRSAS aims to improve the quality of pulmonary rehabilitation services and standardise care for patients, which we wanted to adopt as part of our day-to-day work. We started our PRSAS pathway in November 2019 following the release of the NHS Long Term Plan. As we knew accreditation would become necessary for pulmonary rehabilitation services in the future, we wanted to get ahead of the workload and submit based on a timeframe which worked for us.

“We started the self-assessment by taking a step back to review all of the standards, so we could get to grips with the requirements and guidance of each domain. This meant that we could pick out the key documents we could use across multiple standards (to reduce our workload), as well as, identify the standards which would take the longest to prepare for. Thanks to this approach, we were able to delegate tasks to the team effectively which gave everyone a sense of inclusion and participation. Through the self-assessment process, we were also able to offer the team the opportunity to lead on a quality improvement (QI) project. This had the added benefit of building up the skillsets within our workforce.

“As we went through each domain, we found that we were documenting processes we already had in place, rather than creating new things from scratch as we had anticipated. We were often ‘plugging the gaps’ of our documentation and leaving comments to explain to assessors how our team works. Our qualified staff were familiar with the programme and the self-assessment was quite daunting at first. However, when we got stuck into the self-assessment, we realised that a lot of the standards actually gave us the chance to highlight our good practice, rather than just picking out what required more work.

“We were fortunate to have strong links with our leadership team, which made sectioning off blocks of time easier. For instance, we had to work on our service statutory operating procedure (SOP) to include a higher level of detail than we first expected, and the blocked off time really helped complete this. Having time slots dedicated to the PRSAS self-assessment also made it easier to structure the workload and evidence upload. Delegating the work out to the team was crucial: the team have been fantastic and their support was invaluable.

“Breaking down the evidence requirements was also useful, as it made the upload more manageable. It meant that we had achievable ‘chunks’ of work, and we could maintain the team’s momentum and engagement as we worked through each domain. When we received the deferral result at the end of the day of the onsite assessment, the team was understandably a little disappointed. Luckily, the team really pulled through and we completed the key actions we’d been given with support from the assessment team – our team is truly resilient and motivated.

“Thanks to our work through the PRSAS accreditation pathway, we now have a new strategic action plan which gives the service clear direction and helps us formulate where we will be in the next three years. Through the self-assessment process, we also recognised that the band 8a position could be developed into a full-time role. The onsite assessment and feedback from the assessment team helped push towards having this finalised. We now have quarterly meetings with the QI team, and this has improved our relationship with the QI lead, who is now much more involved with our projects.

“When we got the certification that we had been accredited, we definitely felt a huge amount of pride, satisfaction, and relief! There was a massive sense of achievement for the whole team. We’ve become a point of contact for other services in our respiratory network which has led to visits from other service leads. We’ve also had the opportunity to present our progress at network meetings and share best practice. To celebrate our accreditation, we gave each staff member a pin badge to wear on their lanyards and added the accreditation tick to our email footers. Then, of course, we printed out our certificate and proudly hang it in front of every class for our patients to see.”

For more information about the PRSAS accreditation pathway, click here.

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