Skip to content

Q logo

Meet the team


  • Dr Emma Walker, Lead Healthcare Scientist, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to your chosen theme?

IQIPS is a series of quality statements based on ISO15189 that define and guide the provision of safe, effective, patient centred, timely, efficient and equitable patient services.

To attain and maintain IQIPS accreditation, services need to implement a quality system. A quality system in its basic form is a series of guiding documents that describe how a service works and continually improves. Typical documents would include clinical procedures, patient information, and performance monitoring.

The challenge for services is that they are often siloed, working with other multi-professional staff within their own specialty but having little interaction with other physiology services in their trust.

During our project at Imperial we brought together seven physiology services across our multiple site organisation to share experience and work across boundaries towards a common goal. In addition to this we have also engaged more widely with other hospitals working towards accreditation.

What does your project aim to achieve?

Success for us is seeing more services across the country achieving IQIPS accreditation. By working together we will bring down boundaries between trusts and foster relationships with other organisations across the United Kingdom.

We have developed a series of documents and templates that can be adapted to the seven physiology services in our Trust. This was a huge undertaking, requiring a dedicated full time quality manager to produce. If we can share and spread these documents and templates across trust boundaries we could save services a huge amount of work.

Imperial will have their first accreditation visit early 2020. We plan to use the feedback received to further improve our systems before we launch and share our resources across other physiology services.

We’ll share and spread the learning of our project and provide valuable feedback to services prior to their accreditation visits, effectively decreasing their need to outsource services or hire additional staff.

How will the project be delivered?

The project will be delivered remotely initially as we set up a system to approach physiology services across the country. Once engaged with services we would then develop a communication forum such as a SIG.

Where possible project team members could visit participating services across the country. This could be to provide a workshop for an entire Trust, or work closely with a project lead for an afternoon. Visits would be determined as needed, and scaled in accordance with funding available.

Emma’s career as a healthcare scientist includes countless accreditation cycles. She brings a wealth of experience and valuable insight as a senior leader in the NHS.

Kathleen has worked quality over the last decade, from having built quality systems in Australia to support drug testing in elite sport to quality improvement within the veterinary profession.

With input from Q members we’ll have access to an even bigger group of physiologists that can refine, share, and scale our work.

What and how is your project going to share learning throughout?

The best quality systems are those with the flexibility to continually adapt and improve. By sharing the work that we have already completed we can assist physiology services at other trusts by giving them access to resources and making sure they learn from our experiences.

Implementing change is a long process and quality systems are no different. By providing a series of templates and education resources we believe that we can save physiology services months of work, not to mention tens of thousands of pounds that would be spent employing an experienced full-time quality manager.

We will create a space where teams from across the UK can feedback and reflect upon their accreditation project. This could be through Slack, a special interest group on Q, or another appropriate channel. Our team could then provide timely updates and explore further collaborative opportunities for quality improvement.

How you can contribute

  • We’d love more input from Q members, particularly those in physiology services to find out from them exactly what would help support them in their journey towards accreditation.
  • We would especially love to hear from services that have already achieved accreditation so that we can apply their learning to our project and ensure we get it right the first time.

Plan timeline

1 Nov 2019 Funding decision announced at Q conference
1 Dec 2019 Confirm logistics and finance for project team
1 Jan 2020 Confirm team incl. Q community volunteers
1 Feb 2020 Review of Imperial docs to convert to generic templates
15 Feb 2020 Production of generic documents and templates
1 Mar 2020 Communicate to physiology services across UK
1 Apr 2020 Review of Imperial’s accreditation assessment
8 Apr 2020 Adjust templates to reflect accreditation feedback
1 May 2020 Hold webinar / conf call with interested physiology services
8 May 2020 Invite services to apply to the programme
1 Jun 2020 Select services / trusts (may need to limit due to capacity)
8 Jun 2020 Meet with participating teams and determine timelines
9 Jun 2020 Provide templates and resources to services
22 Jun 2020 Services build systems and documents
1 Aug 2020 Project team review and support doc writing
1 Sep 2020 Services book in accreditation visit
1 Dec 2020 Project team supports services on accreditation visit
1 Jan 2021 Project team supports responses to accreditation feedback.


  1. What a helpful idea. Do you think some of this learning is scalable?

    best wishes


    1. Hi Anna,

      Thanks for the comment. Absolutely, it will scale really well. What we've done in our first year of the project with seven services, could now be done in half the time as we bring in more services in our trust.

      In a similar vein I've seen great scaling of things like incident reporting across community just by implementing a more user-friendly form.

      Fingers crossed it works well!

  2. Have you considered using a 'Process Approach' to achieve Quality Management through Process Management? I'd love to help.

    1. Hi Thomas,

      Absolutely, both Dr Walker and myself have run/currently run services accredited to ISO15189, the medical laboratory equivalent of ISO9001.

      This is the approach we have taken while building a quality management system to support IQIPS accreditation. Even though IQIPS is not currently aligned with ISO15189, we agreed the best approach was to develop our QMS to the highest possible standard.

      It's certainly paid off as UKAS announced this month a consultation to align IQIPS to ISO15189.

      The visual mapping you talk about in your profile would be very useful in mapping the complex patient pathways many services facilitate!

Leave a comment

If you have a Q account please log in before posting your comment.

Read our comments policy before posting your comment.

* required fields

This will not be publicly visible

Please note that you won't be able to edit or delete comments once posted.