CHKS Client Manager Q&A

Kirstie Oliver is a client manager for CHKS and supported the radiotherapy department at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust during its recent accreditation process.

What is your background and how did you come to join CHKS?

I started working with CHKS in September 2016 having previously worked as a radiotherapy radiographer in the NHS. After reaching management level I was looking for a new opportunity and, having come across CHKS, saw that many of its clients are radiotherapy organisations. My background is helpful in this role because I can certainly empathise where clients are coming from and the complexities of what they are trying to achieve. For example, I come from the same profession as Nicolai Greet and her team at Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust.

What can you tell us about CHKS accreditation in four sentences?

Our accreditation programme is perfect for healthcare providers who are on a journey to improve productivity, performance, patient experience and outcomes. It provides credible and independent recognition of a commitment to quality improvement for patients, the organisation’s leadership team and external regulators. Clients can feel confident in the CHKS Standards for Health and Care Organisations because they have been accredited by ISQua External Evaluation Association (IEEA). Accreditation visits are carried out by a team of healthcare and quality experts who are supportive and on hand to help as and when needed.

What are the benefits of using CHKS for accreditation?

CHKS accreditation is purpose-built for healthcare providers, so we know the right questions to ask and can take a more detailed approach. We can also offer more in-depth support or point clients in the right direction on specific issues thanks to our team of independent surveyors who can bring in learning from other organisations.

How did you find working with Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust?

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust radiology department has been through the accreditation process before. It has improved by taking on board learnings from previous surveys, which is fantastic. With every client, I always ask myself ‘would I want to be treated here?’, and the answer for Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust is yes. The team is always driving improvement with a view to better patient care.

What kind of impact has the pandemic had on the accreditation process?

Working without on-site checks has been a challenge, and it has been more time-consuming to carry out surveys remotely. Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust was the first client I took through the process in this way, and the team was absolutely brilliant – and really gave it their all. The team was so open and innovative. Staff even put together a virtual tour of the department with a map and photos. Throughout the process they wanted to show what they had learned and how they have adapted and improved, and they did exactly that.

Why should organisations choose CHKS for accreditation?

If you decide to undertake CHKS accreditation, you will be supported by people who know your business – our client managers are all from different healthcare backgrounds and really understand the challenges that organisations are facing. With the surveying team, too, you can work knowing that you are being assessed by a group of your peers.
For more information 
Read our case study 'Freeing healthcare professionals from administration to deliver better-quality care through accreditation'

Read our Q&A with Sharon Spriggs, a CHKS Surveyor

Contact us for more information about CHKS accreditation