QA Visits

QA visits to each breast screening unit are every three years or more often if required.  The purpose of the multidisciplinary QA visit is

(a) To review the performance of the local breast screening programe against the national and regional standards

(b) To encourage constant improvement by identifying areas of excellence and distribution of appropriate information

The QA Visiting Team

The QA team is made up of at least one representative from each of the following: QA Chair (QA Director or nominee) Administration & Clerical, Breast Care Nursing, Pathology, Medical Physics, Radiography, Radiology and Surgery

QA Visit Documentation

The QARC will provide the breast screening service with a list of information that they are required to submit to QARC six weeks in advance of the audit visit. The documentation will be presented in an information pack which will be dispatched by the QARC to the visiting team at least two weeks prior to the visit.

On the Day of the Visit

The actual visit takes a full day and will commence with a ‘mock’ MDM.  This will be followed by case review for individual specialties.  Individual specialties are given a list of  cases for review and for the ‘mock’ MDM in advance of the visit.  During case reviews the management meeting takes place.  This is followed by an optional tour of the unit.  After this the Visiting QA Team will hold a preliminary meeting to identify issues for further discussion and review. 

Individual specialist group meetings are then held after lunch.  Performance data, responses from the questionnaires and issues arising from the case reviews will form the basis for discussion at these meetings.  At the conclusion of the visit, the QA Director verbally reports to all members of the screening team and representatives of the host trust.  This feedback will cover points of good practice and any necessary recommendations for improvement.

Following the verbal feedback, a separate meeting will be held with the Trust Chief Executive and other relevant Trust staff to discuss any issues (as appropriate) in a confidential forum.

The QA Visit Report

Draft individual reports and a draft executive summary are sent to the Director of Screening copied to the Programme/Service Manager within approximately four weeks of the visit. Key points, recommendations for action and required timescales are highlighted in the draft executive summary. The final report will be sent to the Director of Screening, Trust Chief Executive Regional Director of Public Health and members of the visiting QA team.