A two year programme has been produced with the aim to develop a robust framework for the system wide governance and oversight of external quality assurance (EQA) to ensure high standards in quality management, embed patient safety into pathology, ensure excellence in pathology output and support safe, high quality patient care across the health service. In addition, the programme aims to produce a sustainable funding mechanism from financial contributions from the relevant EQA scheme providers, based on openness, transparency and fairness.
We will achieve this by concentrating on 4 objectives which comprise the delivery plan.
- Developing and implementing a robust multi-stakeholder governance and assurance framework incorporating new developments in systems governance, pathology service provision and External Quality Assurance.
- Agreeing and implementing a consistent approach to identifying and responding to poor performance.
- Developing systems, practices and policies to share learning relating to quality management, continuous quality improvement and assurance of pathology results with service providers, manufacturers, professional societies and oversight bodies.
- Strengthening collaboration with our external/regulatory partners across health services in the UK
EQA Oversight Board
The EQA Oversight Board provides a collective oversight and assurance to the work identified and scrutinised by the EQA Stakeholders Forum and co-ordinates the delivery of the agreed objectives. A major area of work overseen by the EQA Oversight Board is the delivery plan which defines the workstreams that will operationalise the agreed objectives. The EQA Oversight Board meets 2-3 times a year, immediately after the EQA Stakeholders Forum meeting.
EQA Stakeholders Forum
The EQA Stakeholders Forum provides the scrutiny function to ensure that the work and priorities have users’ interests and perspectives at the centre, and has representation from EQA providers (UKNEQAS, WEQAS, DEQAS, LGCG, RIQAS, GenQA, QCMD), Public Health England, ACB, ACP, MHRA, IBMS, UKAS, NHS England & NHS Improvement, the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Regional Councils, the Joint Working Group on Quality Assurance, RCPath lay representative and all NQAAP chairs and the Royal College of Pathologists.
- We have recruited a lay representative to the forum to provide a lay perspective on the work taking place and representatives from the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Regional Councils to ensure there is valuable input from the four nations.
- An advertisement to recruit volunteers to work on the delivery plan has been successful and over 30 volunteers from different areas of pathology have expressed an interest. A chair and vice chair have been selected from members of the EQA Stakeholders Forum to co-ordinate the areas of work identified in two of the four workstreams.
- The NQAAP on Chemical Pathology has been reformed, with updated terms of reference and is due to meet in the autumn. A link to the NQAAP is at the top right hand side of the page.