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Quality award for Breast Screening Unit

26th September 2005

Guilford’s Jarvis Breast Screening Unit has successfully achieved certification against international quality management standard ISO 9001:2000. The award was confirmed after an assessment by certification firm SGS United Kingdom Ltd in August 2005.

The National Health Service Breast Screening Programme (NHSBSP) requires every Breast Screening Unit in the UK to have a quality system for its radiography department by 2004. However, the Jarvis decided to extend the system’s scope to include all its operations as Programme Manager Annie McCracken explains: “A number of other NHS targets and requirements such as having a ‘right-result’ procedure in place, are naturally part of a quality system and gave us the incentive to develop an all encompassing system.?

The scope of the systems now covers:

  • Call / recall process
  • Two view mammograms 
  • Full assessments following an ‘abnormal’ mammogram
  • Referrals for mammograms from GP’s
  • Referrals from GP’s for full assessments
  • Mammograms for Private patients
  • Referrals from GP for Ultrasound

The system, which took 18 months to design, develop and implement, has already delivered a number of added-value benefits says Annie: “It has improved team working with roles and responsibilities clearly defined and the procedure for corrective actions ensures the feedback which fuels our commitment to continual improvement.?

The Jarvis Breast Screening Training and Diagnostic Centre was established in 1979 as one of the centres for National trials for the early detection of breast cancer. The Breast Screening programme being implemented in 1987.  It is based at the Jarvis Centre in Guildford and provides National Health screening and diagnostic services for clients who have been invited through the Breast screening programme, full assessments for clients referred by their GP and services for private patients. Currently, over 50,000 women aged between 50 and 70 years are invited annually for screening covering the geographical area of Surrey and North East Hampshire.  

Quality assurance is a fundamental part of the NHS Breast Screening Programme. Each NHS region has a quality assurance director for breast screening and a quality assurance reference centre which collects and collates data about the performance and outcomes of the breast screening programme and organises quality assurance visits which assess the performance of individual units against published guidance.

Guidance on good practice and standards and targets for staff working in the breast screening programme are set by NHSBSP, professional coordinators and representatives of relevant professional organisations such as the Royal Colleges.

SGS United Kingdom Ltd has been at the forefront of independent quality assessment and certification within the UK’s healthcare sector. The company which is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Services (UKAS) to carry out assessment and certification against ISO 9001:2000, issued its first ISO 9001 certificate to a UK healthcare establishment in 1991. Through its branded quality management scheme Healthmark™, the organisation now has over 300 registered health sector clients certificated to ISO 9001.

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Article Information

Title: Quality award for Breast Screening Unit
Author: Martine Hamilton
Article Id: 1412
Date Added: 26th Sep 2005

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