Exemplar accreditation provides a road map and tools to assist teams on their journey to excellence

The Exemplar programme was originally developed in response to concerns raised in the Francis report about relying on aggregate data to understand an organisation’s performance in delivering quality and safety, and the need to eliminate unwarranted variation. The UCLH Exemplar programme was co-created with clinical staff, who identified what a clinical area looks like when its flourishing. Metric and thresholds were then agreed and weighted to form the 12 standards within the 5 pillars.

Exemplar Pillars Ward - large image.jpg

The creation of UCLH’s Exemplar accreditation programme brought different sources of existing disparate Trust data together under one umbrella. The aim of the programme was not just to provide assurance, but to support clinical teams to use data to work on locally identified areas for improvement.  We recognise that those closest to issues are best placed to identify potential solutions and support this through a shared governance approach.

  • A clear roadmap for improvement journeys that allow teams to collectively determine their path. By providing a clear set of standards and a measure of how well a team is delivering quality care, teams understand what is expected of them and are given the tools and support to achieve and exceed these standards.
  • Accreditation promotes local accountability, which reduces unwarranted variation and standardises practice in key processes by providing an evidence-based approach to supporting the delivery of care and improving quality, while also enabling a focus on key care risks.
  • Evidence suggests that nursing staff who work in an accredited setting know they are appreciated and valued by their leaders and their team. This encourages team working, improves staff morale and enhances team engagement, leading to reduced turnover, sickness and reliance on temporary staff
  • Accreditation creates a platform for continuous quality improvement (QI) and helps embed staff engagement in locally created and owned quality improvement projects.
  • Accreditation increases teamwork across an organisation through the promotion and facilitation of shared learning, enabling teams to learn from each other and disseminate excellent practice.
  • Accreditation creates a culture of pride and accomplishment and supports collective leadership and personal and professional development. Accreditation recognition is given through plaques, certificates, pins and annual awards.

The ethos of the programme is that together we have the collective knowledge, skills and drive to achieve this. Our aim is to: continuously work together to create the best environment for our patients and staff.

We achieve this by working in four key ways:

  • clearly defining expectations (Exemplar standards)
  • providing meaningful intelligence (data and evidence)
  • facilitating constructive conversations (through shared decision-making and QI)
  • recognising and celebrating success.