Improving Quality in Allergy Services (IQAS) is a new project from a joint committee of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath) that aims to improve the quality of NHS specialist allergy services.
The registration scheme, which is for adult NHS-based allergy services that meet a certain level of quality standards, will be run by the RCP Accreditation Unit under the guidance of Professor Andy Wardlaw, chair of the RCP/RCPath joint committee on immunology and allergy.
Professor Wardlaw said:
This registration scheme is an important step on the road to making sure that adult, NHS-based allergy services are adhering to an agreed set of standards based on guidelines and expert opinion. It will be a tool for use in revalidation, helpful for commissioners and patients in provision of high quality allergy services in their area and a lever to improve the range and quality of services over time.
We strongly urge all those providing allergy services to register with the scheme as soon as possible.
Previous reports from the RCP, RCPath and the House of Lords have drawn attention to the lack of services for patients with allergy, and the variable quality of those services. The scheme has been set up following a recommendation in the 2010 RCP/RCPath report Allergy services: still not meeting the unmet need to introduce service accreditation standards.
The quality standards are based on a combination of those set out in the allergy chapter of the RCP’s recently published blueprint for medical services in hospitals, Consultant physicians working with patients, and expert opinion from the allergy community. They are currently a minimum set of standards and will be reviewed on a regular basis.