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

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Introduction to the evaluated Quality Network for Low Secure Services

annual cycleThe Quality Network for Forensic Mental Health Services was launched in 2006 with an initial focus on medium secure services. 

In 2012 we developed the standards for low secure services and introduced a new evaluated Quality Network dedicated to Low Secure Services.

For further information:

Diagram 1 - The Cyclical Review Process

The cyclical review process

The process used by the Quality Network for Forensic Mental Health Services combines the clinical audit cycle with peer-reviews.

  • The process begins with a set of standards being developed in consultation with member units.
  • Members then engage in a detailed team/service evaluation during the self-review phase.
  • This is followed by a period of peer-review visits to validate the data provided during the self-review.
  • After the peer-review stage, units are provided with a local report that compiles the data collected during the self- and peer-review.
  • When all member units have completed the peer-review phase an annual report of the aggregated findings is written to enable benchmarking with other services.
  • The final stage of the process involves action planning and attendance at the Annual Forum.

See Diagram 1 above.


Standards For Low Secure Services

The network uses an iterative cycle of self and peer-reviews using a set of standards developed from Department of Health draft commissioning guidance (2012):


QNFMHS LSU Standards

A: Model of Care

1: Admission
2: Recovery
3: Physical Health Care
4: Discharge

B: A Safe Therapeutic Environment

1: Physical Security
2: Relational Security
3: Procedural Security

C: Service Environment

1: Environmental Design
2: Risk assessment and management
3: De-escalation and seclusion
4: Access to external spaces
5: Facilities for Visitors

D: Workforce

E: Governance

1: Reporting and management of
    adverse incidents
2: Business Continuity