Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust anaesthetists rewarded for high quality patient care 

Published: 21/02/2024

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust has been accredited under the prestigious Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) Anaesthesia Clinical Services Accreditation (ACSA) demonstrating their commitment to patient safety and excellence of care.   

ACSA is the RCoA’s peer-reviewed scheme that promotes quality improvement and the highest standards of anaesthetic service. To receive accreditation, departments are expected to demonstrate high standards in areas such as patient experience, patient safety and clinical leadership.  

Dr Benjamin Rudge and Dr James Peerless, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust ACSA leads, said:   

“We are incredibly proud to achieve ACSA accreditation at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells. This represents years of hard work by our whole department to ensure we deliver the highest standards of care. The ACSA standards have provided a framework for reflecting on our processes, as well as empowering us to drive forward improvement across our services.  

It has been a tough journey, requiring perseverance to meet all of the standards - including writing and updating policies, buying new equipment and recruiting more recovery staff. It was a particular challenge to ensure standardisation across multiple theatre suites on two sites.  

We were the first trust to have an on-site visit postponed due to COVID and feel we lost the momentum we had built. Because of this delay and a reconfiguration of services, it felt like a lot of the work needed repeating. We were grateful to work with The College to trial virtual classroom sessions to assess some of the standards during this time. When we finally completed our on site visit, it was pleasing to see how close we were to achieving accreditation. The written report, with its specific recommendations, really helped us achieve changes that we had previously found challenging. We are proud to be praised for areas of innovation and excellence and we are delighted to contribute policies to the best practice library.”

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

“I would like to offer my personal congratulations to the entire anaesthetic department on achieving ACSA accreditation. 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.”