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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness


 Standards for Prison Mental Health Services

The standards act as a framework by which to assess the quality of prison mental health services via a process of self and peer review. The first edition of the standards was published in June 2015 following an extensive process of consultation with stakeholder groups, including prison mental health staff, patients and commissioners. Information was collated from a wide range of sources and a review of key literature and documents was undertaken.


The second edition of the standards has been produced in order to acknowledge feedback collated from member services that participated in the pilot year of the Quality Network for Prison Mental Health Services, and also to account for new developments within the field of prison mental health.


The specialist standards also incorporate the CCQI standards for community-based mental health services (Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2015). All core standards have been marked adjacent to the standard number in brackets, followed by the letter ‘C’ and the core standard number as it appears in the CCQI standards for community-based mental health services publication [e.g. (C3.4)].


All criteria are rated as Type 1, 2 or 3

Type 1: Essential standards. Failure to meet these would result in a significant threat to patient safety, rights or dignity and/or would breach the law. These standards also include the fundamentals of care, including the provision of evidence based care and treatment.


Type 2: Expected standards that all services should meet.

Type 3: Desirable standards that high performing services should meet.


 Standards for 24 Hour Mental Healthcare in Prisons


These standards provide a framework for specialised quality improvement for prison mental health services with inpatient provisions or enhanced care facilities. They have been developed following an extensive period of consultation with key stakeholders and a thorough examination of the key literature.


These standards will be used by member services of the Quality Network as an optional addition to the existing set of standards for prison mental health services that form the basis of self and peer-reviews.


 Standards Development

In November 2013, the Quality Network for Forensic Mental Health Services held a preliminary consultation workshop as part of the development of standards for Prison Mental Health Services, led by Dr Steffan Davies and Dr Huw Stone. The workshop was attended by over 60 people representative of multidisciplinary front line teams as well as other key statutory and voluntary sector stake holders.

A small expert working group met in September 2014 to consult and provide feedback on the draft standards and they were then consulted  at a wider stakeholder consultation event in November 2014, with around 120 people in attendance.

The first version of the standards were published in June 2015.


QNFMHS Prison In-Reach Standards

Background Context and Literature Review for the Development of Standards for Prison Mental Health In-Reach Services

Dr Steffan Davies & Dr Huw Stone

Court Diversion and Prison Psychiatry Network co-chairs


QNFMHS Prison In-Reach Standards 


Integrated Mental Health Services: What Does "Good" Look Like?

Dr Adarsh Kaul

Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist & Clinical Director Offender Health Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

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