Mental health audit wins excellence award for patient involvement

Published: 28 Oct 2019

A national clinical audit that aims to improve mental health care services in the UK is the winner of a national award that recognises outstanding patient and public involvement.

The National Clinical Audit of Anxiety and Depression (NCAAD) scooped the 2019 Richard Driscoll Memorial Award for demonstrating excellence in patient and public involvement in clinical audit.

NCAAD is one of 40 national clinical audits and patient outcome reviews commissioned by Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) and funded by NHS England. It was set up in 2017 to measure and improve the quality of NHS-funded care and treatment of service users with a primary diagnosis of anxiety and/or depressive disorder within secondary care services.

HQIP Patient and Public Involvement Lead and award facilitator Kim Rezel said:
“We are delighted to have this vehicle to showcase the dedication and expertise of our national audit teams who provide meaningful opportunities for patients and the public to influence and impact their work.

“The winning entry impressed us with their responsiveness and flexibility; they made changes to the involvement structure at the request of the service user and carer reference group and adopted a new co-produced reporting model to increase the accessibility of published reports for lay people.

“We know that mental health services present challenges in terms of patient and service user involvement. We were therefore impressed that the audit team collaborated with the McPin Foundation, a specialist mental health research charity that works to put the experience of people affected by mental health problems at the heart of research methods and the research agenda.”

Phil Baker, HQIP Trustee and a member of the judging panel, said:
“This is a profoundly important piece of work involving a patient group that often does not benefit from the contact and engagement it needs. The award entry demonstrated impact beyond the original scope of the project.”

NCAAD recruited a service user and carer reference group (SUCRG) from the outset to ensure that people who have experience of using secondary care mental health services inform all aspects of the audit. Four service user representatives, a young person representative and a carer representative make up the group from across the UK.

NCAAD, which is managed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, will be invited to attend HQIP’s Annual General Meeting to receive their winner certificate and prize.

The judges commended the following entries for their submissions:

  • The Falls and Fragility Fracture Audit Programme – managed by Royal College of Physicians
  • National Early Inflammatory Arthritis Audit – managed by British Society of Rheumatology
  • National Cardiac Audit Programme Report for Patients and the Public 2019 – managed by National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research (NICOR)

These will feature as PPI case studies on HQIP’s website.

The Richard Driscoll Memorial Award was introduced to acknowledge and reward outstanding patient and public involvement in national clinical audit. It was launched in September 2018 in tribute to HQIP’s former Chair of Trustees, a passionate life-long ambassador for patient care, who passed away in 2017.