Go ahead for GWH stem cell service as it gains new international accreditation

Written by Tony Millett on .

Team leader Consultant Haematologist Dr Norbert Blesing (in the brown jacket) with members of GWH's stem cell service teamTeam leader Consultant Haematologist Dr Norbert Blesing (in the brown jacket) with members of GWH's stem cell service teamWith the obvious exception of some politicians, most people know full well how close to the edge of disaster the NHS is being allowed to come.  However, many people probably do not realise that the NHS is still functioning and still producing innovative treatments.

It is the old swan image - many parts of the NHS sail on pretty unruffled while below the water it is paddling like fury against the currents of underfunding and the major increase in demand and expectation.  Its stretched staff keep on mending people, curing people and healing people

Pictured here are the team who run the stem cell service at the Great Western Hospital which has just been awarded important international accreditation that is essential for it to continue to provide stem cell transplants at Swindon.

Without this accreditation patients would need to travel to Bristol or Oxford for their treatment.  Up to twenty patients a year, with blood cancers such as lymphoma and multiple myeloma, receive stem cell transplants at GWH.

This is the second time the team has received the vital accreditation, which must be renewed every four years, with standards getting tougher each time.

The achievement follows an inspection by the Joint Accreditation Committee-ISCT & EBMT (JACIE)(*), the internationally recognised system which provides assurance of high quality patient care and laboratory performance in haematopoietic stem cell collection.

The Trust is the tenth centre in the UK to be accredited under the new Sixth Edition JACIE standards which are extremely high.

For further information about stem cell transplants visit this part of the NHS Choices website.  

And the NHS keeps pushing forward - witness this week's announcement of a new diagnosis regime for prostate cancer.  Brilliant news...if the politicians will keep up with the scientists and medical researchers and fund the necessary rollout of MRI scanners and appropriately trained staff.

(*) In case you wondered: JACIE stands for the Joint Accreditation Committee of the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) and the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) - an example of how essential international co-operation has become to advanced health services.