Resources for Core Audit

The core audit includes the following key performance areas:

  • Access;
  • Comprehensive assessment and care planning;
  • Availability of appropriate psychopharmacological and psychological treatment;
  • Crisis planning;
  • Follow up and community care;
  • Service user outcomes.

A retrospective audit of service users admitted to an inpatient mental health service for anxiety and/or depression.

Data were collected on service users care and treatment over a period of six months from their date of admission.

Data collection was open between June - September 2018.

The national report is expected to be published in October 2019, with local reports following soon after.

1. The Trust/organisation routinely collects data to assess equity of access. Guidance: This includes age, gender, ethnicity, employment and accommodation status.

2. Service users have timely access to inpatient care when required.

3. Service users’ assessments are comprehensive and include consideration of:

  • identification of social support and/or stressors in relation to finance, education/employment and relationships
  • previous traumatic experiences or associated symptoms
  • previous treatments and response to them (if applicable).

4. Service users’ physical health is considered as part of their assessment and treatment, with support, advice or onward referral offered where appropriate. Guidance: This includes blood pressure; BMI; blood tests, and Lifestyle factors (e.g. diet, exercise, smoking, drug and alcohol use).

5. The needs of service user’s family members, friends or carers are considered as part of the assessment process and they are offered an assessment of their needs.

6. Care plans are jointly developed with service users and their family member, friend or carer (if applicable), and they are given a copy with an agreed date for review.

7. Psychotropic medication is provided in line with the relevant NICE and BNF guidance for the service user’s diagnosis/condition.

8. Psychological therapies are provided in line with relevant NICE guidance for the service user’s diagnosis/condition.

9. Within 24 hours of discharge a discharge letter is emailed to the service user’s GP and a copy of the service user’s care plan is sent to the accepting service (if applicable).

10. The service user and their family member, friend or carer (if applicable), receives at least 24 hours’ notice of discharge and this is documented.

11. Service users discharged from an inpatient setting receive a follow-up within 48 hours of discharge.

12. Service users have a crisis plan agreed and in place prior to discharge from an inpatient service.

13. Assessments include the use of an appropriately validated outcome measures (e.g.symptoms, level of functioning and/or disability) which are used to monitor, inform and evaluate treatment.

The National Clinical Audit of Anxiety and Depression is in the process of developing a new data management system for the prospective audit that will begin in 2020. The tool has been developed for the purpose of continuous data collection so hospitals will be able to readily see how they are performing and where they can make improvements. The system will also readily generate charts to enable services to compare themselves regionally and nationally.

The new tool is currently being tested as part of a pre-pilot with two Trusts, followed by a full pilot with 10 hospitals in October 2019, which will run for two months. Each Trust will be required to sample five patients discharged from 1 hospital consecutively from the starting date of 1 October 2018. Feedback will be gathered from everyone involved in the pilot, including experience of data extraction, data entry and QI functionality.

The pilot project set four high-level clinical improvement goals for this audit. The improvement goals are based on the key findings and recommendations of the NCAAD core audit and alignment with national guidance and evidence. 

1.     Hospitals increase the proportion of service users who have crisis plans in place at the point of discharge, within this audit period.

2.     Hospitals increase the proportion of service users followed up within 72 hours of discharge, within this audit period.

3.     Hospitals increase the proportion of service users offered psychological therapies in line with NICE guidance within this audit period.

4.     Hospitals increase the proportion of carers offered a carers assessment within this audit period.

Throughout November and December 2019, we will be facilitating quality improvement workshops In England. The aim of these workshops is to develop practical applications to address specific shortfalls identified following the National Clinical Audit of Anxiety and Depression report. These workshops are open to audit leads, clinicians, QI and governance personnel, and any other interested staff.  

If you are attending the workshops, we advise you take a look at the Improvement Academy's Bronze Level Quality Improvement Training. This is a free introductory module to quality improvement which help you prepare for the workshops.

Workshop dates

  • Friday 8th November 2019 - London (America Square Conference Centre)
  • Friday 15th November 2019 - Bristol (Radisson Blu)
  • Friday 22nd November 2019 - Manchester (The Manchester Meeting Place, Manchester University)
  • Friday 29th November 2019 - York (Park Inn by Radisson)
  • Friday 6th December 2019 - London (America Square Conference Centre)
  • Friday 13th December 2019 - Birmingham (The Priory Rooms)

How to register

You can register for up to 3 places per Trust.

Get in contact to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry