Our history

The Diabetes Care Accreditation Programme (DCAP) was launched in 2022, with pilots in the East of England and Wales. It is designed to support all adult inpatient diabetes services. In the future there may be opportunities to expand the scope of the programme, however DCAP will focus on inpatient care in the first instance.

Inpatient diabetes care is not universally standardised and currently there is no mechanism to provided 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 variation 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.

Accreditation is a supportive process of evaluating the quality of a service against established standards. Accreditation promotes improvement through highlighting areas of best practice and areas for change, encouraging the continued development of the clinical service.

Accreditation has played a pivotal role in driving change in many aspects of healthcare, including mental health and diagnostics. It can act as a form of assurance to service users, managers, referrers and commissioners about the service provided.

Participating in accreditation helps teams to:

  • improve service delivery and quality of care for people with diabetes
  • reduce variation in clinical services
  • highlight and share good practice as well as where to focus improvement efforts
  • increase satisfaction with working conditions, leadership and collaboration
  • embed quality improvement in everyday practice.

Accreditation provides a sense of pride for services in being able to show that it offers a well-led, patient-centred and safe service. Accredited departments can also be more attractive to potential employees and trainees.

DCAP is run by the Accreditation Unit at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), who have a long history of running successful clinical service accreditation programmes, including:

DCAP is supported by the East of England diabetes network, All Wales Diabetes Implementation Group and Diabetes UK.

You can find out more about the pilot here.

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