The National Peer Review Programme consists of the four key stages illustrated in the following diagram:
Annual Self Assessment
This involves the service self-assessing against the measures for the relevant cancer service and answering if each measure has been achieved. This is recorded by Yes/No or not applicable on a compliance data sheet. Overall percentage compliance is automatically calculated on the data sheet.
Teams are also expected to compile a summary report which provides an overview of the service and covers the membership of the team and how it works, patient pathways, patient experience and any clinical outcomes data.
Internal Validation of Self Assessments
Every third year the trust is required to ‘validate’ the accuracy of the self assessments. Comments are made against the self-assessment report and additional concerns added if necessary. Compliance with the measures is also reviewed and percentage scores adjusted accordingly. The Chief Executive signs off each self-assessment with internal validation comments as a true and accurate reflection of the service.
External Verification of Self Assessments
External verification is carried out following by the National Cancer Peer Review team and provides a further check on self-assessment and accuracy of internal validation.
Peer Review Visits
Peer review visits are undertaken by teams of 4-6 people that include doctors, nurses, allied health professionals e.g. physiotherapists, occupational therapists and dieticians as well as patients/carers and managers who are all specialists in, or have experience of, a particular area of cancer care.
Teams are selected for a visit based on specific criteria these include:
- Teams who have not implemented the IOG action plan
- Immediate risks identified and not resolved
- Request from organisations
- Low performing teams
- Concerns regarding the robustness of the internal validation process
- Selected from a random sample
The Peer Review report is written by reviewers following the visit.
The National Cancer Peer Review Process
The cycle for the peer review process is shown below. In any one year a service will either be completing a self assessment for internal validation or preparing for a peer review visit.
For more detailed information about the NCPR Process please see the NCPR Handbook.