Maximising the effectiveness of routine quality assurance team visits
© BioMed Central 2004
Published: 14 July 2004
Routine quality assurance (QA) is an integral part of the National Health Service Breast Screening Programme. The primary aims of QA are to ensure the maintenance of minimum standards and the continuing improvement of service delivery. To achieve its objectives, QA must look at each service in its totality, while also examining the performance of each aspect of the service. This is attained through routine QA Team visits to each service and also by reviewing performance data for the service as a whole.
The QA Team visits represent a dual approach to QA. The visiting QA Team assesses the service as a whole by carrying out an external review of data, and through internal professional meetings. In order to maximise the effectiveness of this intervention, the service must feel that the process is transparent and must also have input into the way in which the visit process is conducted. In order to obtain this input from services, in 2003 each member of the QA Team individually contacted their peers across the region to seek their views on the purpose and optimum approach for QA Team visits.
The dual focality of QA Team visits will be explored, together with the way in which breast screening professionals perceive the QA Team visit structure and how this perception varies between groups.