Psychosis audit highlights need for ‘urgent improvements to align with NICE standards’

Published: 04 Jul 2016

A retrospective audit on the compliance of early intervention in psychosis (EIP) services’ ability to provide timely access to the full range of interventions recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), has shown that only 41% of first episode patients were offered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for psychosis (CBTp), and under a third (31%) of families were offered Family Intervention (FI).

View the full report here

 The audit was commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP), on behalf of NHS England and carried out by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ College Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI), with the objective of establishing a baseline position across England.

 Although 87% of patients were offered screening in three or more physical health measures, the audit findings highlight the need to urgently improve physical health screening and intervention to ensure all patients are offered screening for the full set of seven health measures, in keeping with the recently implemented NICE Quality Standard 80. 

 Fifty-five providers and 135 EIP teams submitted data on 2,833 patients for the patient-level audit. The data collected relates to services received by patients accepted onto the caseload of EIP services in England between 30 June 2014 and  December 2014. The audit outcomes show that access to NICE recommended care for patients with first episode psychosis varied considerably across England at the time when this baseline was conducted.

 Since this time, NHS England and the NICE have undertaken a significant amount of work across the country to prepare for the implementation of the quality standard from April 2016. Detailed implementation guidance for the EIP standard was published in April 2016 as well as a helpful resources pack, including EIP positive practice examples and resources from regional preparedness programmes.

 To support this CCQI has been commissioned by NHS England to develop a self assessment tool that will be used to monitor and track progress against the ‘second strand’ of the EIP access and waiting time standard (NICE concordance).  This will be published on 4  July 2016 and an advanced copy is attached. All EIP services will be expected to complete the self assessment and take part in a validation process; the results will then be independently scored and the scores published. This will be at no cost to provider organisations in 2016/17.  The scoring matrix will be published within the next month.  This approach is intended to support providers and commissioners to develop services that deliver against both components of the EIP standard and to address the areas for development highlighted within this report.