Top Back to top

End of Year Message from Tuula Rintala, Director of Quality of Care and Advocacy

JACIE Committee
Inspector Committee
Accreditation Committee
Quality Managers Committee

How can it be end of 2023 already?! A lot has happened in a year and trying to capture it all in a short message is impossible, but there are certainly a few highlights to reflect on.

This year has been the 25th Anniversary of JACIE and after three long years since the previous in-person Annual Meeting it was so lovely to say ‘hello’ face-to-face. I am not sure who was more excited: us in the JACIE Office (Covid meant that most of the team had never attended an Annual Meeting before) or the Committee members, Inspectors and Centre Representatives popping over to our booth.  There’s a lot you can do virtually, but what a joy it was to be able to spend time together.

The change with the most impact on the Centres this year, though, would not have been possible without the leadership of our JACIE Committee Chair, Lynn Manson, and the hard work of members of the Accreditation Committee. By changing the structure of the JAC Meetings, Committee members have been able to meet every two weeks throughout the year, and increased their output up to 12 reports a month (from two to four previously). This has enabled us to return the reports back to the Centres significantly faster.  We, in the JACIE office, have our roles to play, but it is the commitment of time and effort by our volunteers that enables us to deliver to our Centres.

One of the most enjoyable activities this year has been the Inspector Training events. We trained more than 50 new inspectors this year and two of these events were organised in collaboration with National Transplant Societies. Thank you to SFGM-TC and the Turkish Society of Haematology for wonderful training events in Paris and Istanbul. We have now started to work with our colleagues in the UK to run a course in the UK in June 2024.

It has been rewarding to hear feedback from our Class of 2022/23 who are now completing their observer visits and getting out there on their first inspections. In doing so, they can refer to the JACIE Inspector Handbook developed in collaboration with the Inspector Committee (JIC) and launched during the Annual Meeting. The Inspector Committee is also working on a package of incentives for our inspectors, which we are planning to implement in 2024.

We also recognised that even though many Centres are applying for second, third or even fourth accreditations, it is not always easy to navigate the process. Therefore, in October we launched the JACIE Accreditation e-course for Centres, which aims to support all staff in Transplant Facilities. I am hugely grateful to the Quality Managers’ Committee for leading on this project and the Dutch Quality Managers’ group for their help in reviewing the programme and providing feedback.

Lastly, we have been working hard with our FACT Colleagues on the Review of FACT-JACIE Standards. This work would not be possible without the expertise of our sub-committee members painstakingly reviewing the standards and the guidance. The draft 9th Edition will be ready for consultation from Spring 2024 and I hope you will take this opportunity to comment so that the Standards can genuinely represent the needs of our community.

It has been a busy and challenging year for all of us involved in the JACIE process, and I am sure 2024 will bring new challenges. However, representing JACIE in the Egalite Coalition this past year – supporting the development of standards and an accreditation scheme for other tissues and cells – has made me realise how fortunate we are in our field. 25 years ago, the EBMT Board had the vision to standardise practice and embed quality in the heart of everything we do for the benefit of our patients. It is not something to take for granted.

So, from all of us at the JACIE office, we are wishing you and your families happy holidays and a happy, healthy new year 2024!

Tuula Rintala
Director, Advocacy and Quality of Care