Our anaesthetic department at St George’s has been re-accredited by the Royal College of Anaesthetists for the fifth year running.

The accreditation scheme, organised and run by the Royal College requires anaesthetic departments to uphold 193 quality standards.

The standards range from how well our anaesthetic teams maintain privacy and dignity for our patients; uphold best practice in clinical governance and education; and protect staff wellbeing and conducting anaesthetic practice in outpatient clinics, wards, the emergency department (ED) and theatres.

This year’s re-accreditation process involved a full, on-site inspection by Royal College assessors – as well as interviews with staff, and a review of our policies, working practices and audits.

Being accredited by the Royal College of Anaesthetists provides external validation of the high quality care our anaesthetic teams provide; and the re-accreditation scheme is recognised by the Care Quality Commission as a reliable barometer of quality standards.

As in previous years, the accreditation process required input from a range of different departments, including theatres, resuscitation, ED, medical physics, maternity, paediatrics, plus many others. This year, the College also assessed our cardiac and vascular specialities against specific standards, in which they also scored highly.

Dr Carolyn Johnston, Consultant Anaesthetist who led the re-accreditation process, said: “I am grateful again to everybody who helped with the process, particularly given how busy everyone is, and the multiple demands on everyone’s time.

“Our anaesthetists work in so many different parts of the hospital, so to be re-accredited for the fifth year running is recognition for the teams we work with, as well as the excellent care anaesthetists themselves provide. I am particularly grateful to our cardiac and vascular specialties, who also received praise in the College’s report.”

Dr Richard Jennings, Chief Medical Officer, said: “This is a really positive achievement for our anaesthetic department, and for our other colleagues in other specialties whose hard work and commitment has made this possible.

“I would like to thank all my anaesthetist colleagues, and everyone in the wider multidisciplinary teams, who are giving such good care to our patients.

“External oversight of this kind is very helpful, and whilst any accreditation process is labour intensive for staff, it helps assure us that we are meeting key quality standards, or indeed exceeding them, and this very positive performance sets the bar for others to follow.”