Why is PLAn accreditation SO Valuable?
It provides formal
Accreditation assures patients, carers,
frontline staff, commissioners, managers and regulators
that the liaison service is of a good quality
and that staff are committed to improving care.
Meeting accreditation target helps meet other
priorities too, including national and government drives.
PLAN accreditation and quality improvement activity is highly
valued by other bodies:
It provides a uniquely valuable
Whilst it’s fantastic to have formal
recognition, PLAN membership is about much more than that.
We believe that the accreditation
process itself is the most valuable aspect of PLAN,
because PLAN allows time for intelligent reflection, information
sharing and peer support, nurturing
ongoing quality improvement led by people who
truly understand liaison psychiatry. Read on for quotes from
our members about the PLAN experience.
- "The PLAN process was an excellent exercise for the
whole team in reflecting upon our achievements as a new team
and areas for development. We've used the independent
information gathered from the PLAN review to gain funding to
improve the A&E assessment cubicle. Gaining PLAN
accreditation is a valuable and objective assessment of the quality
of the service we provide." Dr Mahnaz Hashmi,
Achieving accreditation status rewards hardworking liaison staff
for their efforts, raises morale and raises the profile of the
liaison team within its wider organisation.
- "I feel in our service we do great work but it was
really re-affirming to have that feedback from PLAN as outsiders
looking in." Dr Amrit Sacher, Hammersmith
- "The team were so uplifted by all the positive
comments and proud of the service they
offer." Barbara Woodworth, Cheshire and
Teams which may be struggling to meet
standards are always offered time and support to reach
accreditation status. Taking part in PLAN helps
improve services by solving long term problems and
encouraging provider organisations to better support their local
What’s so special about peer review
PLAN listens to the people on the
frontline, including staff from all professional
backgrounds, service users and their carers and partner
organisations. PLAN is atrulymulti-professional
initiative and absolutely not just for
psychiatrists. At a local level, this means engaging people
the review of their own service, and at a
national level in how the network develops. We believe
that the true experts in liaison psychiatry
are those who provide and use the service. Most importantly,
service user and carer priorities are of huge importance to
- "PLAN works hard to ensure that patient and carer
priorities are reflected in the process. Having service users
and carers on the review teams, steering group and accreditation
committee means that we can actually play a part in shaping liaison
services." Satveer Nijjar, Service User Rep on
PLAN, trainer in mental health.
PLAN promotes the sharing
of best practice through the network, providing a forum
for advice, support, encouragement and information sharing. The
central team has amassed considerable knowledge of the strengths of
different PLAN members and will put people in touch with each
other accordingly. PLAN members are also
provided with newsletters, an email discussion group and a PLAN
member’s support service.
- "PLAN has helped the team to
share information and solutions with other teams." Dr
Nora Turjanski, Royal Free Hospital.
We support professional
development – liaison team members are able to receive
in reviewing other services, quality
improvement techniques, study days around clinical issues
and many other learning opportunities.
We celebrate good practice and the achievements of staff as they
are identified through the review process.
The accreditation process helps to
build dialogue with referrers, partner agencies and
WHY FOCUS ON PSYCHIATRIC LIAISON SERVICES?
The PLAN team develops and updates quality standards appropriate
for liaison services, in consultation with professionals, service
users and carers.
The standards follow a care pathway model, referring to links
with primary care and other tiers and agencies.
The standards cover aspects of policy including the National
Service Frameworks, the Department of Health’s Standards for Better
Health, the Welsh Assembly Government’s Healthcare
Standards for Wales and Scotland’s Delivering a
This means that services can use their tailored reports to
demonstrate compliance with these national standards and to inform
trust quality accounts as recommended by the National Quality
The benefits of accreditation
Indicators of health, performance, quality and efficiency can
give valuable insight into how care is being delivered and there is
more emphasis than ever on the use of quality indicators within the
NHS to improve services.
The Psychiatric Liaison Accreditation Network (PLAN), can bring
a range of benefits to a liaison service, including:
- Involving a wide range of stakeholders, including staff
from all professional backgrounds, service users and their carers,
and partner organisations
- Improving quality, safety and efficiency within the
- Assuring commissioners and managers that the liaison service is
of a high quality - in some cases accreditation has helped liaison
teams to secure additional funding or new contracts
- Engaging services with a network of peers, which enables
sharing of good practice and provides a forum for advice and
- Achievement of accreditation can support services to reduce
their financial contribution to the NHSLA
PLAN provides year-round support to help accreditation members
maximise opportunities for learning and development.
This support includes the option of taking part in email
discussion groups, learning events and annual conferences, as well
as quality improvement advice targeted at individual services.