Invited Review Service
The Invited Review Service (IRS) of the
Royal College of Psychiatrists was previously known as the External
Clinical Advisory Service, (ECAS). It has been developed to support
NHS and independent sector provider organisations by conducting
robust, transparent and objective reviews in response to concerns
about the professional performance of individual psychiatrists and
the functioning of local services.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists is not a
regulator, but seeks to improve standards of care. The IRS
contributes this objective. The purpose of reviews is to offer
recommendations to resolve concerns. This includes remediation
where appropriate, including changes to management processes.
The Registrar has appointed Professor Rob
Poole as Specialist Adviser to lead the service. A group of senior
psychiatrists have been trained in investigation. These experienced
reviewers lead review teams, the composition of which varies
according to the nature of the concerns under investigation.
Reviews are subject to rigorous quality control.
The Invited Review Service undertakes tasks
that fall into three main categories:
- Individual/Team review – the largest number of
requests fall into this category. The IRS provide an expert opinion
about individual or team functioning by visiting the work place,
examining records and policies, interviewing clinicians, managers
and, where appropriate, service users and carers.
- Service review – the IRS offers an expert
opinion where an organisation believes that part or all of a
service is dysfunctional. Reviews are based upon site visits and
interviews. Reports emphasise the identification of achievable
changes to resolve problems, rather than apportioning blame.
- Case note review – Case note reviews should
normally be conducted as an internal audit within provider
organisations. The IRS will provide expert quality assurance of
these internal processes, but case note reviews are not the
preferred method of assessing difficulties.
The IRS will consider other forms of review on
a case-by-case basis.
The IRS does not provide
reviewers to participate in internal process such as provider
organisation serious incident reviews.
How to contact us
The IRS encourages early confidential
discussion where an Independent Review is under consideration. The
initial approach should be made to the IRS manager, Lucille
Shackleton, by the organisation’s Medical Director with the
knowledge of the Chief Executive. Where an alternative
process is more appropriate the IRS will advise and
Please use the contact details below.
Professor Poole and will help draft terms of reference for
individual reviews. We believe that identification of appropriate
terms of reference is an essential element of a high quality
Phone: 020 3701 2583
Interested in becoming a Member of an Invited Review Team?
From time to time the IRS recruits and trains
clinicians to lead reviews. If you have an interest in the work of
the IRS, and you are a Consultant Psychiatrist of at least five
years standing, who is a Member or Fellow of the College, then
here for further information on the role.
If you remain interested after viewing this information, then
please contact Lucille