Information for patients

What work does JAG do? 

The Joint Advisory Group for Gastroenterology or JAG is one of a number of schemes that sit within the Royal College of Physicians accreditation unit. JAG was originally set up to improve standards in training for endoscopists but quickly evolved to improve the quality of clinical services, focusing on the patient experience.  By identifying from patients what was important to them when undergoing an endoscopy, a framework was devised where all endoscopy services are asked to self assess.  Using this framework and working with endoscopy services and staff, JAG provides a benchmark for high quality and safe services by: 

  • focusing on continuous improvement in patient care and processes
  • encouraging continuous service development 
  • improving leadership, management and efficiency of services 
  • providing education on best practices.

What is JAG accreditation?

Once services are able to show that they are meeting the required standards through this self-assessment, services gain go forward for accreditation. This is a formal process where a team of assessors, comprising of a lay assessor, doctor, nurse and often a manager, review evidence from the service and undertake a site assessment.  If services are found to be meeting the JAG standards then they are accredited, or if not, are given a further 6 months to meet them. The site assessment is undertaken every five years and between these visits there is an annual remote review of key pieces of evidence to show that the service is maintaining the standards.

What does JAG accreditation mean? 

JAG accreditation means that patients can have increased confidence in their endoscopy service and be assured of the same quality of care no matter where their endoscopy takes place in the country, provided it is JAG accredited. For the service it means a sense of pride in being able to show that they offer a high quality and safe service. It also increases opportunities for investment, growth and development of services.

What does not being JAG accredited mean?

Not having JAG accreditation does not mean that the service is of a poor quality or is unsafe. Some services have to work hard with JAG to secure the funding and support they need to meet the required standards for accreditation and JAG makes a clear distinction between services that are engaged in the process and those that are not. Some services meet the JAG standards in many ways but are unable to get accreditation as they are unable to meet certain aspects of the standards which may need a large amount of investment.

If I have a concern about a JAG accredited unit, what should I do?

The first thing you should do is take up your concern with the endoscopy service itself in the first instance and preferably in writing. They will have a published complaints policy which will detail how you can do this. You may also want to speak to your hospital’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), if it is an NHS service. If you are not happy with the response to your concerns then please escalate them to us at JAG. We will look into the issues and take appropriate action where necessary.

How can I get involved?

Most hospitals will have a patient user group which will provide opportunities for patients to support their hospital. Your hospital may also have volunteering opportunities. You may also want to look into becoming involved with a patient charity such as Bowel Cancer UK. 



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