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The National Certification Programme for Cardiac Rehabilitation (NCP_CR) has been running for nearly three years. In February 2018 the NCP_CR Steering Group met and agreed to make changes to how the process will work going forward.
What does “minimum standard” mean?
The updated BACPR Standards & Core Components were published in 2017, and are the gold standard for delivery of CR in the UK. Over the past few years, there has been a growing emphasis on quality assurance of services across the NHS. However, reading the annual report from NACR, it shows that cardiovascular disease prevention and rehabilitation in the UK is quite a way from meeting those aspirational standards. So, a steering group of experienced CR clinicians have been working together to use NACR data to reach consensus on a level of service for the majority of the standards that would identify acceptable practice, even if it did not fully meet the BACPR gold standard. Using NACR data means that we can assess how a programme meets minimum standards in a fair and objective way.
The steering group are keen to make the certification process: easy to access; attainable while pushing up minimum standards; and ensure the process is equitable. With these aims in mind, and after much discussion, it has been decided to change how the current process works going forward.
From June 2018 (for publication in November 2018), the process to certify against minimum standards will become automated, and linked directly to the NACR Annual Report/Audit and data. In practical terms this will mean:
1. That programmes will not need to apply or pay for certification of meeting minimum standards as it will be an automatic process, updated yearly, using annual audit data.
2. The categories being assessed will be as on the current certification report, with the addition of Staffing / MDT – this information will be taken from the standard Annual Survey form sent out to programmes by the NACR team.
3. That the NACR Annual Report will show a full list of all registered CR programmes:
Green: Meeting all 7 minimum standards (‘certified’)
Amber: Meeting 4-6 minimum standards
Red: Meeting 1-3 minimum standards
Fail: Meeting 0 standards or not entering data on NACR
and this list will be updated on an annual basis.
In this first year – 2018 – the certification:
· Will be run on 2016/17 data (as per the standard audit year for the 2018 annual report)
· Will use minimum standards by country (England, Northern Ireland, Wales) from the 2016 Annual Report (14/15 data) – this is bringing the standards forward a year, as the last 2 years’ certification has been run on the 2015 Annual Report (13/14). These standards were due to be changed this year, regardless of the certification process itself. CLICK HERE FOR 2018 MINIMUM STANDARDS.
The above certification approach is against published clinical standards only, hence an option for those wanting ‘enhanced’ best practice certification is planned. This – with NCP_CR panel feedback – will be available through the NCP_CR. This extra level of certification may require a payment and further details on this will follow.
All current certification will finish on publication of the NACR Annual Report 2018 (planned publication date is November 2018). For current list of certified sites please click here.
If you have any queries regarding your programme’s NACR data, please contact Nerina Onion (email@example.com)