Diabetes Quality Programme - Peer review

As part of the Quality Assurance stream of the programme, all participating Paediatric Diabetes Units receive a peer review. A multidisciplinary team of peers speak with the service team, relevant colleagues, patients and families to determine compliance against the standards and to identify areas of good practice for sharing more widely and recommendations to improve outcomes.

On this page we explain the process and give tips for services being visited and for peer reviewers undertaking visits to other services.

What is peer review?

The peer review workstream builds on the Department of Health’s Diabetes Quality Improvement Network System, and is the process by which professionals including a paediatric consultant, paediatric diabetes specialist nurse, dietitian, and psychologist - supported by members of the RCPCH Diabetes Quality Programme staff team - examine the paediatric diabetes units’ processes, team working, governance, outcomes and engagement with patients and families.

The approach is developmental, encouraging teams to share their challenges so that barriers can be explored as well as highlighting achievements so that good practice can be disseminated.

The benefits of peer review are mutual, with reviewers and those being reviewed challenged and encouraged to learn from colleagues, share good practice examples and develop their own practice and team.

Important information and tips recommended by teams who have received their visit is shared below.

It was a valuable and insightful process, and certainly a welcome one in terms of helping our team think about the way we function and what can or should be improved.

One of our peer reviewers

For teams receiving a peer review

Our short video explains how to prepare for your peer review, including the schedule and representation, the documentation required and presentation content.

Documentation - We require all relevant documentation to be uploaded before the review. This includes:

  • Three key documents: Operational Policy, Annual Report and Workplan - standard templates can be downloaded below
  • Additional information to evidence compliance with the NDQP self-assessment measures. A suggested list of documentation can be downloaded below. This is a guide - further details are in our video.

Schedule - You can download the draft schedule below. The order is a suggestion, and not mandated - but to get the most from the day we recommend:

  • It is preferable to meet with the MDT before senior managerial representatives
  • Consider parent / carer representation. This session should be followed by lunch / a break
  • Timings and breaks can be adjusted as detailed. Please seek advice from the RCPCH staff team.

Video presentation - Use this time to showcase your service and explain the context within which you work. A comprehensive picture here will help focus individual discussions.

Network Manager - Seek support from your Network Manager. They can help you prepare and support you on the day.

Others' experiences - We have a video collection sharing the perspectives from a service that received their review. We'll add more videos soon.

Helpful and encouraging. The peer review panel acknowledged our team's hard work. They also provided insights into areas we could develop and gave recommendations.

Participating unit

If you have any questions about the peer review process or the scheduling of your visit, please contact diabetes.quality@rcpch.ac.uk.

For peer reviewers

First, thank you to everyone who volunteers to join a peer review team. We appreciate how busy you are and are grateful for the time and expertise you give to enable the peer reviews to be as constructive and effective as possible.

Information for reviewers

  • We'll email you a list of upcoming reviews. Please respond with your availability and preferences.
  • We'll review all responses and allocate a review team in a way that seeks to meets a number of criteria such as balance of experience, familiarity with service context (ie DGH, tertiary) and regional considerations. 
  • We aim to give as many people as possible the opportunity to gain experience as a peer reviewer so it may not be possible to give you your preferred option, but we will do our best.
  • As a reviewer, you won't be expected to review teams within your own network. 
  • If your contact details change or you are unavailable for a period, please let us know.

Tips for reviewers

  • Share a short biography with us - this helps both the peer review team and service being reviewed.
  • Keep in contact with your peer review manager - they will be able to answer any queries and support you through the review.
  • Ensure you can access the evidence on SharePoint as soon as possible. Familiarise yourself with the review documentation and consider questions and themes for exploration with the peer review team.
  • Support your peer review colleagues - share the time, ensure all themes are explored and challenge appropriately.
  • Please share your feedback with us - we are keen to improve the process and how we support services and peer reviewers.
  • Maintain our supportive, non-judgemental approach: use the resources provided to develop questions which will get the most out of the day.

Training and experience materials for reviewers

Alongside our video collections below, we have added a reflection piece from one of our first time reviewers on her experience as a peer reviewer for the diabetes quality programme - we hope these materials provide some insight into the peer review process and are useful.

Training videos:


Experience videos