St. Vincent’s University Hospital Stem Cell Transplant Programme Achieves JACIE Accreditation
21st September 2023
After an arduous four-year application process, St. Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH) is proud to announce that its Stem Cell Transplant programme has been awarded JACIE accreditation in June 2023. This remarkable accomplishment positions SVUH as the first adult autologous programme in Ireland to receive this prestigious international accreditation status.
The Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) programme at SVUH, established in 1995, has been providing exceptional care to patients with solid and haematological malignancies who undergo high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue. As one of three Adult Stem Cell Transplant centres in Ireland, the programme has continually strived for excellence in patient care.
Regulated by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA), the Stem Cell Transplant programme at SVUH adheres to the highest standards of quality and safety throughout the entire process, from cell collection to cell infusion. The HPRA oversees and authorises all tissue and cell facilities in Ireland, ensuring compliance with national and European Union legislation. With their comprehensive reporting system, the HPRA plays a pivotal role in the regulation of tissues and cells, contributing to EU committees and working groups dedicated to tissue and cell regulation.
JACIE, Europe’s only official accreditation body in the field of HSCT and cellular therapy, promotes excellence in patient care, medical practice, and laboratory procedures through a voluntary, profession-led accreditation scheme. JACIE’s standards encompass all aspects of collection, processing, storage, and administration of cellular therapy products, thoroughly evaluating the entire transplant process, including the Clinical Programme, Collecting Facilities, and Processing.
Without the expertise and commitment of Dr Donald McCarthy, retired Consultant Haematologist, and Professor John Crown, co-founder of the SVUH Stem Cell Transplant programme, this remarkable achievement would never have been possible.
Dr Karen Murphy said, “As Head of the Haematology Department in St. Vincent’s University Hospital, I am immensely proud of my colleagues across all subspecialty areas of the Department for what is truly a momentous achievement. It cannot be overstated that it only through the hard work and dedication of all involved that we have, after an arduous 8 year process, arrived at this point. In the words of Robert Collier ‘Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out’. We will as a Haematology Department continue to strive to provide world class professional care with our dearly beloved patients at the centre of everything we strive to achieve.”
Unlike regulatory inspections, JACIE accreditation goes beyond the basic requirements and focuses on delivering exceptional patient care, stem cell collection, and processing. The accreditation process involves a thorough examination by experts in each area of inspection, necessitating the engagement of all staff across the organisation to achieve accreditation. Recent studies have shown that JACIE accreditation leads to improved patient outcomes, reduced transplant-related morbidity and mortality, and closer alignment with international consensus on HSCT indications and management. It also enables benchmarking and facilitates outcome comparisons with other accredited facilities.
The journey towards JACIE accreditation began in late 2015 when a dedicated committee was formed at SVUH. Comprising of professionals from various departments, including Tissue Establishment Quality Management, Chief in Blood Transfusion, Haematology Consultants, HSCT Clinical Nurse Managers, Pharmacy, Quality Department, and Nursing, the committee met monthly to outline the accreditation process and work towards its achievement. The application was first submitted in February 2020, and despite the challenges posed by the SARS-CoV-19 pandemic, the inspection process persevered. After a series of document reviews, interviews, and thorough inspections of facilities, SVUH received the JACIE accreditation in June 2023.
With the distinction of becoming the first adult HSCT Autologous programme in Ireland to receive JACIE accreditation, St. Vincent’s University Hospital reaffirms its commitment to providing the highest standards of care to patients undergoing stem cell transplant. The accreditation demonstrates SVUH’s alignment with JACIE’s rigorous standards and ensures that every aspect of the HSCT programme meets the optimal level of excellence.
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