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Have your say on the future of the screening quality assurance service

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The screening quality assurance service (SQAS):

  • assesses the quality of local screening programmes
  • monitors compliance with standards
  • supports services with improving quality
  • undertakes local visit reports

It’s crucial we work with our partners and colleagues to identify the challenges and priorities for the service. It’s also nice to reflect on where we’ve come from and what we’ve achieved since 2015.

The SQAS operating model describes our role and purpose and it aims to provide a common approach to assessing quality and supporting all NHS screening programmes.

Last month, we conducted a survey to ask for views on the model. We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey.

Survey results

Survey responders

Screening service providers 117
PHE staff 107
Professional and clinical advisors (PCAs) 34
Commissioners 15
Others 17
Total 290

Most respondents thought SQAS partly, mostly, or fully achieved against each of our 3 goals. Respondents were more confident about our achievements in improving screening service quality and protecting people from harm than our achievements in reducing health inequalities.

More than two-thirds of respondents thought SQAS partly, mostly or fully achieved against each of our 11 commitments. Our best results were for our commitments to:

  • developing a single service
  • standardised procedures
  • providing programme specific guidance

There’s more work to do when it comes to building relationships with our partners and developing a research and evaluation framework.

The survey  identified 226 specific achievements. These were particularly around SQAS providing advice and support to services, developing the quality of services and standardising and improving processes.

It also highlighted 251 specific challenges, including issues concerning communication and engagement, data, health inequalities and changes in the health system.

Seeking your views

We’ll be using the priorities identified by survey respondents to inform our refreshed operating model.

We want to involve you further to make sure our plans for the future meet the needs you’ve identified.

We will launch a period of informal consultation on the revised operating model in December. This consultation will run until the end of January.

How you can get involved

We would like feedback on the refreshed operating model for 2018 to 2021. If you would like to take part in this informal consultation and receive a copy of the draft revised operating model, please register your interest by sending an email to

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