Dr Peter Royle, MBBS FRCA MBA
Consultant in Anaesthesia and Critical Care
Anaesthetic Department, University Hospital of North
Dr Peter Royle explains the activities of the Adult Critical Care Stakeholder Forum in the UK, and its most recent project “Quality Critical Care: Beyond Comprehensive Critical Care”.
The Adult Critical Care Stakeholder Forum (CCSF) was established in April 2004 to mobilise stakeholder involvement in the strategic development and delivery of critical care services and to provide a communications link between a wide variety of professional, operational and managerial groups delivering critical care. It evolved from the National Expert Group that produced the policy document ‘Comprehensive Critical Care (Department of Health May 2000), which guided the NHS Modernisation Critical Care Programme that ended in September 2004. The Forum is not led by the Department of Health, but the Department is a stakeholder alongside others. The Forum has stakeholder representation from patient and carer groups, critical care nursing organisations, critical care networks, scientific and educational organisations, medical organisations (including the Intensive Care Society and some Royal Colleges), the Independent Sector and NHS managerial organisations.
The Forum meets formally four times per year, but much additional work is done between meetings by email and smaller meetings of stakeholders working on specific projects. The Forum discusses national healthcare developments and issues that affect critical care, and transmits the views of the Forum to relevant parties e.g. the Forum recently wrote to the Secretary of State for Health expressing its views on the recent NCEPOD report on medical admissions to critical care.
Quality Critical Care
For the last year the Forum has been preparing a national guidance document that gives advice on providing a quality critical care service. The document is entitled “Quality Critical Care: Beyond Comprehensive Critical Care” and was launched in September 2005. The document has been available on the websites of the Intensive Care Society, the Royal College of Nursing and the British Association of Critical Care Nursing since mid October. There will also be 1000 paper copies of the document distributed to relevant agencies such as critical care networks, strategic health authorities and to the CCSF members for dissemination into their organisations.
In the document, the Forum outlines the structures and components that it feels should be in place to allow delivery of a critical care service that meets patients’ needs. The document builds on the work already done following the introduction of Comprehensive Critical Care in 2000. The document supports the critical care network structure, critical care delivery groups and the further development of level 1 care in general ward areas. Various other issues, including critical care capacity and the provision of post-intensive care rehabilitation are discussed. The document will be particularly useful for critical care networks to use in their negotiations with commissioners and critical care providers to develop a consistent high quality critical care service.
The Forum will continue to discuss critical care issues and will be tackling subjects such as the introduction of payment by results, capacity planning, new roles, education and training, integration of critical care services with acute medicine and new data and audit systems.
Contacts and Further Information
The views of critical care clinicians can be expressed to the Forum via representatives on critical care delivery groups, local critical care networks, professional organisations such as the ICS or the Royal College of Anaesthetists, or by directly contacting the Chair ([email protected]).
The document, “Quality Critical Care: Beyond Comprehensive Critical Care”, can be viewed on the following