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Updated 30 December 2022

Dorset County Hospital’s anaesthetic department has been recognised again for providing the highest standards of patient care.

The department has received the prestigious Anaesthesia Clinical Services Accreditation (ACSA) from the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) for a second time. 

ACSA is the RCoA’s peer-reviewed scheme which promotes quality improvement and the highest standards of anaesthetic service.

To receive accreditation, departments are expected to demonstrate a high standard in areas such as patient experience, patient safety and clinical leadership.

Dr Jon Chambers, Consultant Anaesthetist and ACSA lead at the Dorset County Hospital, said: “The process of reaccreditation through the Anaesthetic Clinical Services Accreditation scheme has been a positive experience for our whole department. It has enabled us to ensure that the high quality anaesthetic service at DCH, developed over many years, remains safe, efficient and patient centred.

“The ACSA scheme developed by the Royal College of Anaesthetists has enabled us to provide assurance that the perioperative care we provide to the local population of Dorset meets, and in some areas exceeds, national standards. We are proud to have been one of a small number of departments to successfully undertake reaccreditation through the ACSA process to date. Our ongoing engagement with this process of peer review and external scrutiny has provided the platform for our whole multidisciplinary theatre teams to demonstrate their commitment to delivering high standards of care.”

ACSA lead reviewer, Chris Millard, said: “Congratulations to the anaesthetic department at Dorset County Hospital for achieving ACSA reaccreditation.

“It is a well-earned accolade, as it is clear from the review process that the department delivers a consistent, high quality and patient centred service across the board. The atmosphere during the visit was open, welcoming and friendly. The enthusiasm and engagement of the department shone through at every turn. This is a strong and well-run anaesthetic department.

“Excellent working relationships have been forged with other clinical teams and with the hospital management, and this whole hospital engagement was a pleasure to see. On behalf of the visiting team, I would like to thank the department for their good humour, hospitality and efforts in facilitating our visit.”

Dr Fiona Donald, President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists, added: 

“I would like to offer my personal congratulations to the entire anaesthetic department on achieving ACSA reaccreditation. It is very impressive to see the commitment and approach of the whole department to sustaining their standards. They have demonstrated their ability and passion for providing the best possible care for their patients.

“Patient safety is at the heart of what we do as a Medical Royal College. The quality improvement demonstrated during the accreditation process has helped the department manage the immense tasks presented to them by COVID-19 and the resumption of normal services.  

“It was impressive to see the innovative practices taking place at the hospital, and the excellent commitment from all staff during the process. As well as meeting the standards, the department demonstrated many areas of excellent advanced practice that have now been highlighted for sharing through the ACSA network.”

Anaesthesia is the largest single hospital specialty in the NHS. The Royal College of Anaesthetists is the professional body responsible for the specialty throughout the UK, and it ensures the quality of patient care through the maintenance of standards in anaesthesia, critical care and pain medicine.

Anaesthetics and theatre teams gather to receive their accreditation plaque
Anaesthetics and theatre teams gather to receive their accreditation plaque