New Quality Assurance On The Way For Health And Social Care Information

The MS Society has been chosen by the Department of Health from over 120 applications to participate in the testing phase of a new scheme to ensure good quality information across the health and social care sector.

The information accreditation scheme will combat substantial variation in the quality of health and social care information available and will provide a way for the public and professionals to know that the information they are using is reliable.

It will also support information producers in raising general standards and will be focused at the organisation level – accrediting the source of information rather than the information itself.

The MS Society – the largest organisation supoprting people with multiple sclerosis (MS) in the UK – is testing the scheme alongside others from the commercial, public and voluntary sectors. Subject to achieving certification through this testing phase, the charity will become one of the first scheme members when it launches in 2009.

David Potter, Information Services Manager, said: “The MS Society prides itself on evidence-based information and it is essential that the materials accessed by people affected by MS are authoritative and accurate.

“We are delighted to be chosen by the Department of Health to be part of the new Quality Assurance pilot scheme and look forward to helping to make sure information on health and social care is of the best possible quality.”

Ann Keen MP, the parliamentary under-secretary for health services, said, “There is so much information out there that it’s hard for people – both the public and professionals – to know what can be relied upon. A scheme with a recognisable quality mark, will assure them that information is from a dependable source.

“Over 120 applications were received by the Department of Health and the MS Society is one of just 40 organisations to have successfully made it through the application process. The work of these test sites will be invaluable in providing knowledge and insight for organisations who are considering joining the scheme in the future.”

As part of the testing phase the MS Society will be involved in:

– testing the scheme Standard
– sharing experiences in order to support the development of case studies
– helping to develop the visual identity of the quality mark.