The anaesthetic department at St George’s Hospital has received Anaesthesia Clinical Services Accreditation (ACSA) in recognition of the excellent service it provides.

ACSA is a unique and prestigious scheme run by the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) that enables departments to demonstrate quality in key areas, including patient experience and safe care. It has received acclaim from national regulators including the Care Quality Commission.

Paul Quinton, clinical director of theatres and anaesthetics at St George’s said: “We are delighted to become only the fifth anaesthetic department and the first major trauma centre in London to receive this accolade”.

“Our anaesthetic department has more than 105 consultants and more than 40 trainees working in 28 theatres; as well as covering other areas including pain services, maternity and intensive care. This accreditation is testimony to their hard work, dedication and commitment to providing safe and excellent care to patients at St George’s Hospital.”

Dr J-P van Besouw, former president of the RCoA, stated that the process should help departments to focus on sharing best practice, clinical governance and ultimately improving patient care: “Through ACSA the college has delivered a recognised benchmark for anaesthetic service provision. The delivery of high quality anaesthesia care relies on the application of contemporary professional guidance, clearly focussed on patient safety and independent of business and financial target pressures. ACSA promotes and supports this quality improvement.”

Dr Tony Turley, lead ACSA reviewer, described the department at St George’s as “proactive and dynamic”, adding that “there was a clear emphasis on patient safety and noteworthy clinical leadership throughout the department”. Dr Turley also commented on the examples of excellent service delivery and improvement, which he said would significantly contribute to the ACSA library of best practice.

St George’s Hospital acknowledges that it has been a rewarding process. Dr Liz Williams, lead for ACSA at the trust, noted that the formal commitment to the scheme “made us scrutinise our processes and policies over the entire patient journey to ensure we deliver only high quality anaesthetic care”. Dr Mark Edsell, clinical lead for anaesthesia, added that the anaesthetic department “has become more united and strengthened as a result of this process” and that ACSA “will only lead to safer, more effective anaesthetic care”.