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


Low Secure Quality Network: An Evaluated Network

As one of the quality improvement initiatives at the CCQI the newly developed Network for Low Secure Services will undergo an evaluation study to assess the impact of membership of the network on the quality of care delivered by the service members.

Details of the evaluation

Members of the Quality Network for Low Secure Services will automatically enter this evaluation and will be randomly assigned to either the intervention group or the control group. The evaluation will take place during both Cycle 1 (2012-13) and Cycle 2 (2013-14).

  • The first intervention group will join Cycle 1 while the first control group start participation in Cycle 2 (2013-14), with the second intervention group joining in Cycle 2 and the second control group participating in Cycle 3 (2014-15).
  • Before and after the study both groups will be evaluated in relation to a selection of key standards.
  • This evaluation will consist of a short survey to be completed by the staff members and patients about the care provided by the unit.
  • In addition, the managers will be interviewed about the policies in place and the service’s running costs.
  • An independent researcher from the CCQI will conduct this assessment at a date and time convenient to the service.

Once the intervention group completes their annual cycle its compliance to a selection of key standards will be compared with that of the control group to determine if Network membership results in a significant enhancement of the quality of care delivered by the service members.

All the units that will take part in the Low Secure Quality Network will go through every stage of the normal annual cycle (self-review, peer-review, local report, annual report and annual forum) and the evaluation study will not change the way the Network operates to facilitate the sharing of good practice amongst the members.

The only differences resulting from the evaluation of the Network are that:


  • Additional information will be collected by research staff at CCQI on two occasions during the first year of the project, and
  • As a result of the randomization process half of the units recruited will start their Cycle 12 months later.


Implications of the study

The services that join the Network will contribute to a valuable initiative that will provide evidence on the impact of Quality Network membership on the care delivered by the service members. 


For further information about the evaluation study, please contact Dr. Lina Aimola: (Tel. 0203 701 2700).


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