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

Quality Network for Forensic Mental Health Services Logo

Introduction to the Quality Network for
Medium Secure Forensic Services

The Network was launched in 2006, reviewing eight units during this initial pilot period. The Network has continued to grow with all Medium Secure Units across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland becoming members by Cycle 6 (2011-2012). We also have one member service from Scotland who have been with us since the start of Cycle 7 (2012-2013).


QNFMHS Cyclical Review Process

Diagram 1: 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 from all services is written, highlighting national themes and to enable services to benchmark themselves against other services.

The final stage of the process involves action planning and attendance at the Annual Forum.

Standards for Medium Secure Services

The Quality Network has developed the Standards for Medium Secure Services over the last year following extensive consultation with a variety of stakeholders. They are supported with a foreword by Patrick Neville Portfolio Director (Mental Health), NHS England.  These refreshed and updated standards will form the basis of self- and peer-reviews for medium secure services in 2014-2015.
The following outline the areas each of the services are measured against during the self and peer-review process : 

  Patient Safety
Physical Security
Procedural Security
Relational Security
Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults

Patient Experience
Patient Focus
Family and Friends
Environment and Facilities

Clinical Effectiveness
Patient Pathways and Outcomes
Physical Healthcare