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LJMC achieves Information Standard certification

Members of the LJMC Information Team celebrate news of certification to the Information StandardWith its reputation for the production of high quality patient information, the LJMC was keen to be one of the first organisations to achieve certification to the new Information Standard. This was successfully accomplished by the Information team within just six months.

Around 50,000 organisations produce health or social care information in the UK. The quality of this information varies greatly and a study by the Department of Health1 identified that 75% of people find it hard to work out whether information is trustworthy or not. The Internet has served to increase confusion with vast quantities of information available and no way of guaranteeing its quality.

... independent certification scheme...

The Information Standard (IS) is an independent certification scheme that helps the public identify reliable and trustworthy sources of health and social care information. Central to the scheme, which is supported by the Department of Health, is a set of criteria that define good quality information and the methods needed to produce it.

The LJMC has always prided itself on the quality of its publications, winning several commendations in the BMA Patient Information Awards over the years. It was a natural step to apply for this quality mark that will give patients confidence in our publications.

... quality mark will give patients confidence...

To achieve the standard, the LJMC had to show that our processes and systems are robust enough to create information that is accurate, impartial, evidence-based, accessible and well written.

Macmillan Patient Information Lead, Sarah James, took on responsibility for heading up the certification project. Having run the quality system in the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in the past, she was the perfect person to get everything shipshape for our assessment.

... 12-Point Plan defines the steps...

For many years, the Information team has used its 12-Point Plan that defines the steps used to create our publications, from an initial request to final delivery. This provided a great starting point as the nuts and bolts of the publication process already existed so Sarah was able to focus on the strategic issues and policies that were required by the IS.

The actual assessment took place over two days in January when an assessor from G4S, the certification body, visited the LJMC. As well as interviewing members of the LJMC Information team, he met with senior managers and clinicians in the Cancer Centre who are integral to the production of information as authors and stakeholders.

... continually able to improve what we do...

The assessor will visit the LJMC each year to check that we are adhering to our procedures and Sarah has also set up a programme of audits that will highlight any issues that may arise.

It is this system of both internal and external verification that will ensure that we are continually able to improve what we do and how we do it.

... we involve users...

One of the requirements of the IS is that we involve service users so members of our patient panel have been busy reading leaflets and commenting on their readability and content. This feedback has been invaluable and we are very grateful to them for the time they give to this important aspect of our work.

... media campaign will highlight quality mark...

Achieving certification to the IS is a demonstration of the LJMC's commitment to the provision of good quality information for the patients and carers at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre.

We know that if people do not have good information, they will not be able to look after themselves effectively, navigate the health system or make appropriate decisions about their own or their family's health.

A forthcoming media campaign, 'I'm Informed', will be highlighting the IS quality mark and you can expect to see it on more health information publications as more health and social care organisations apply for certification.

Meanwhile, congratulations to Sarah and the members of the Information team for this tremendous success.



Last updated: January 29, 2014

Information Standard

> more information about the LJMC's commitment to quality and the Information Standard




This article first appeared in the Spring 2011 issue of the LJMC newsletter, Open Door.