About the programme

Why create a new diabetes accreditation programme?

Inpatient diabetes care is not universally standardised and currently there is no mechanism to provide assurance that services are delivered to people with diabetes in hospital to high standards. Data from the National Diabetes Inpatient Audit (NaDIA) has shown that there is considerable variability across England and Wales and differences in levels of harm. The time is now right to agree a set of standards that, if met, will consistently provide good diabetes care in hospitals across the United Kingdom. An accreditation programme will give us a way of supporting hospitals to meet those standards and, with time, to raise the overall standard of inpatient care for diabetes patients.

Which aspects of diabetes care will be included in the programme?

DCAP will focus on inpatient care only. In the future there may be opportunities to expand the scope of the programme, however, we recognise the urgency in improving care for the most vulnerable and we know from the National Diabetes Inpatient Audit (NaDIA) data that this is an area of concern.

About the pilot

Why is there a pilot?

The pilot will allow us to test the process and standards and refine the approach before launching the full programme. The pilot’s collaborative approach means that as well as us helping services to work towards the improvement journey, we hope that feedback from participating services will help to enhance our processes to consider everything that is important for excellent inpatient diabetes care. The pilot will also help us understand your experience of being assessed remotely and will inform our thinking about whether to deliver accreditation remotely once we launch. There will be two pilots running concurrently; one in the East of England and one in Wales.

What will the pilot involve?

Services who express an interest will review and self-assess against the standards framework.  Services will upload information to demonstrate where they believe they meet the standards and provide a short commentary on where they are not meeting the standards. Services will receive support from the programme and assessment team, and have access to a bespoke designed website to support them.

Following this there will be a peer assessment conducted by clinicians working in diabetes care across UK. The assessors will remotely review the evidence and carry out interviews with staff and people with diabetes to triangulate the data that the service uploads, evidencing that they meet the standards. The advice from assessors will spark discussion and debate about improvement areas and allow for shared learning between different services. The pilot will essentially work as a ‘mock’ assessment and services are not expected to meet the standards fully.

Services will have regular support from the programme office team and will be guided through the process. The pilot will also be fully remote, and will not require travel. Those involved in the pilot will be asked to feedback on this, as well as the whole process to inform the future model.

When does the pilot start?

Approximately eight sites will participate in the pilot in the East of England, and five sites in Wales. Between April and July, participating services will put together a self-assessment based on the standards and work to collate evidence to meet the standards and upload onto the website. Services will undertake a remote assessment between August and November, and then receive a report with recommendations, which will be shared with senior management. The programme team will then conduct an evaluation and share with the community in early 2023.

Will services be granted accreditation at the end of the pilot?

No. The pilot is about testing the standards and process in ‘real life’ settings and being aware of nuances that we may not have factored in during the design phase. However, we typically find that services who participate in the pilot are in a great position to be awarded accreditation as part of the full programme because they will already be familiar with the style and process ie, they get a head start.

Is there a cost?

During the pilot phase there is no cost to services. The East of England Diabetes Network and the All-Wales Diabetes Implementation Group has provided funding to support this pilot to test the standards and process in the East of England and Wales respectively. Post-pilot, services will pay an annual subscription fee to participate in the programme which will cover the costs of delivering the programme, including the programme team, clinical leadership, assessments and the bespoke website.

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