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. We explain the process and give tips for both services being visited and 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 a member 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.

Our programme manual, which you can download below, contains a comprehensive guide to the peer review process for both teams being visited and peer reviewers. 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

  • Ensure the three key documents (Operational Policy, Annual Report and Workplan) are available once a visit is confirmed - standard templates can be downloaded below. We are currently conducting peer reviews virtually due to COVID-19, and additional documentation to evidence all NDQP measures is required in preparation for the review. The RCPCH team will provide further advice.
  • Consider patient and family representation.
  • Confirm presence from the appropriate management representatives.
  • Use the video presentation time to showcase your service and explain the context within which you work - a comprehensive picture here will help focus individual discussions.
  • Seek support from your Network Manager - they can help you prepare and support you on the day.

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

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 review visits to be as constructive and effective as possible.

Information for reviewers

  • Peer reviews are scheduled in phases. We will review all responses across visits to allocate reviewers to the most appropriate team. 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.
  • Reviewers will not be expected to visit teams within their own network. This means more travel will be required with face-to face visits; however, it also means reviewers are able to meet new people and hear new ideas.
  • Standard travel and accommodation will be provided when peer reviews are delivered face to face - in return reviewers must provide travel details in good time to enable the staff team to make arrangements. Reimbursement of additional costs (taxi, parking etc.) will be in line with the College policy - see form and policy.
  • If your contact details change or you are unavailable to attend visits 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 visited.
  • Keep in contact with your peer review manager - they will be able to answer any queries and support you through the visit.
  • Ensure you can access the materials as soon as possible. Familiarise yourself with the visit 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.