Quality assurance for the NHS abdominal aortic aneurysm screening programme in England

Abigail Campbell, Helena Waggett, Morag Armer, Jo Jacomelli, Jonothan J. Earnshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: The National Health Service Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening Programme (NAAASP) was introduced in England in 2009 to offer ultrasound screening to men over 65 years, in order to reduce aneurysm-related deaths. This study describes the development of a quality assurance (QA) process and conducts an analysis of the first round of QA visit reports. The aim was to identify themes where local providers can target their efforts for improvement. METHODS: Forty-one providers were assessed over 4 years using a process of QA visits adapted from previously established screening programmes. A mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods was used to analyse the 41 QA reports, which identified a range of recommendations for providers. The data were coded for key words and assigned to themes. The number of recommendations per visit report was compared with experience of the providers and performance against national screening standards. RESULTS: A total of 773 recommendations were made, with an average of 19 per QA visit. Around one third of the recommendations were based on governance and leadership standards, with 43.0 per cent of those based around commissioning and accountability. A significant relationship was seen between number of infrastructure recommendations and performance against standards. CONCLUSION: This review of a QA cycle found that sound infrastructure is key to the success of a local provider.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBJS open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2022

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© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of BJS Society Ltd.


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