First Radiotherapy Department to be accredited by BSI with new ISO Quality Standard

The Radiotherapy Department at the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Oncology Centre, based at Cheltenham General Hospital, has been recognised for the high standard of their quality of care and treatment that they provide for patients across the county of Gloucestershire and at their Hereford Satellite Radiotherapy Centre.

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) is an independent organisation that produces standards to ensure that services are safe, reliable and of high quality. The British Standards Institution is the national standards body of the United Kingdom and the globally recognised kite mark representing quality services. It assesses and certificates organisations against ISO standards.  It is a National requirement that all Radiotherapy Departments in the UK operate within a Quality Standard and the Gloucestershire Radiotherapy Department’s Quality Management System has been operating under the previous Standard ISO 9001:2008 up until achieving accreditation to the latest updated Standard earlier this month; making it the first BSI accredited centre to receive certification in the UK.

The new standard focuses on ensuring that quality management is consistently achieved throughout all aspects of the service. Additionally, it highlights the need for senior management involvement in the creation of a quality-driven culture and to optimise opportunities for improvement. This differs from the old standard which mainly focused on the quality of the processes carried out.

As Gloucestershire Hospitals Radiotherapy Services Manager Bridget Moore explains, our Radiotherapy Service was rigorously assessed:

“Our department was given notice by BSI in mid-2016 to prepare for the new ISO standard. We requested at that time to be one of the first in the country to be assessed by BSI.  Our Quality Manager, David Nash, worked diligently through each aspect of the new standard, ensuring that we met the requirements of each section and produced evidence to support our consistent compliance.

“October was the earliest that BSI would agree to assess us and the process commenced with a readiness review followed by a site visit from an inspector in December. The final part of the assessment took place on Feb 1st when we were successful in achieving the new standard ISO9001:2015.

“This accreditation provides our patients in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire with the reassurance that they will receive their treatment in a department where quality is central to everything we do. In addition to this it enables us to share best practice with other departments within our Trust and other Radiotherapy Departments within the South West Region”.