European Reference Networks Assessment
ACSA, an Independent Assessment Body
The Andalusian Agency for Healthcare Quality is an Independent Assessment Body (IAB) belonging to the assessment project of the European Reference Networks for Rare Diseases. Its function is to assess the centres of the networks which are intended to be officially recognised by the European Commission as European Reference Networks (ERN) for Rare Diseases. ERNs are new structures where specialised centres from different European Union countries are included. Its purpose is the exchange of knowledge and the coordination of assistance on rare diseases requiring a lot of resources and specialised knowledge.
The assessment of these networks developed by independent bodies provides the necessary information to the European Commission in order to grant the official acknowledgement as a Reference Network. For this purpose the Commission, through the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (Chafea), has chosen the Andalusian Agency for Healthcare Quality as a project assessment body. The Agency competed against other European renowned assessment bodies to achieve this function, getting the highest score (95 out of 100) in the calls for proposals. Its candidacy has been supported by the Spanish Federation for Rare Diseases (Federación Española de Enfermedades Raras, FEDER).
Nowadays, ACSA is expanding its assessment to 79 units of the networks assessed in 2017 in order to continue verifying the fulfilment of the requirements to access ERNs.
These networks are currently working on different sectors: cancer, genetics, onco-hematology, neurodegenerative diseases, paediatric pathologies, metabolopathies, and others. So as to carry out this work, the Agency has a large team of surveyors, composed of 72 experts in rare diseases from 16 European countries.
Such surveyors have been responsible for visiting the centres, doing the revision of the documentation provided by the networks, and generating the assessment reports that the European Commission needs to acknowledge a network as European reference network.
The Andalusian Agency for Healthcare Quality completes the assessment of 79 European reference units on rare diseases
The Andalusian organisation has participated in the 4th Conference on European Reference Networks held in Brussels as independent assessment bodyread more
Once again, Europe has entrusted the Andalusian Agency for Healthcare Quality with the assessment of 79 reference units on rare diseases
The Andalusian organisation has won another European tender for the technical assessment of European Reference Networks for rare diseases.read more
The work of ACSA in the assessment project of the European Reference Networks, awarded at the Spanish National Congress of Hospitals and Sanitary Management
A project driven by the Andalusian Agency for Healthcare Quality has been recognized with the Best Oral Communicaton award in the XX Spanish National congress of Hospitals and Sanitary Management, hold on 29, 30 and 39 March 2017 in Seville. The communication has the...read more
Access for Assessors
ERN Assessment Tool
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ERN Assessor Training
ERNs, within the Directive of the European Union on patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare, could be used as research and information centres for rare diseases affecting citizens from different EU countries. They have to ensure the access to the necessary treatments regardless the patient’s Member State of origin. The European Reference Networks with shared knowledge and resources are intended to concentrate European countries efforts in order to offer a more specialised healthcare.
Rare diseases, also known as low-prevalence diseases, are those with a little impact on the population, affecting no more than 5 inhabitants per 10,000. In spite of that, because of the existence of nearly 7,000 rare diseases, affected people represent 7% of the global population, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). It is estimated that more than 3 millions of people in Spain and 27 millions in Europe have a rare disease.
Material from the European Commission
© European Union, 2017 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service