Quality statement 5: Protocols and specialist support

Quality statement

Healthcare professionals who care for people with an acute painful sickle cell episode have access to locally agreed protocols on treatment and management and specialist support from designated centres.

Rationale

The distribution of sickle cell disease varies throughout England; two-thirds of people with sickle cell disease live in London, and most others live in the other big cities. Therefore the demand for treatment and management of acute painful sickle cell episode differs across the country. To ensure high-quality care for all people with an acute painful sickle cell episode, healthcare professionals need to be able to access locally agreed protocols that set out treatment and management. They also need to know how to access specialist support from designated centres when needed.

Quality measures

Structure

a) Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that locally agreed protocols on how to treat and manage acute painful sickle cell episodes are available and reviewed regularly.

Data source: Local data collection.

b) Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that all healthcare professionals who care for people with an acute painful sickle cell episode have access to specialist support from designated centres.

Data source: Local data collection.

Outcome

a) Staff awareness of how to access locally agreed protocols for treatment and management of acute painful sickle cell episodes.

Data source: Local data collection.

b) Staff awareness of how to access specialist support from their designated specialist centre.

Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for service providers, healthcare professionals and commissioners

Service providers ensure that locally agreed protocols for treating and managing acute painful sickle cell episodes are available and regularly reviewed, and that healthcare professionals who care for people with an acute painful sickle cell episode are aware of and have access to these protocols. Service providers ensure that healthcare professionals know how to access specialist support for sickle cell care from designated centres.

Healthcare professionals who care for people with an acute painful sickle cell episode ensure that they have access to locally agreed protocols on treatment and management and know how to access specialist support for sickle cell care from designated centres.

Commissioners ensure that they commission services for people with an acute painful sickle cell episode, which have access to locally agreed protocols for treatment and management. Commissioners should engage with local and specialist services to designate centres that can offer specialist support, and should ensure that the specialist centres have the resources to do this.

What the quality statement means for patients, service users and carers

People with a painful attack of sickle cell disease (acute painful sickle cell episode) are cared for by healthcare professionals who can follow locally agreed procedures for managing the condition and can get support from specialist centres if needed.

Source guidance

  • Sickle cell acute painful episode (NICE clinical guideline 143), recommendations 1.1.1 and 1.1.25.