About NCAP


NCAP is a three-year improvement programme to increase the quality of care that NHS Mental Health Trusts in England and Health Boards in Wales provide to people with psychosis.

Commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership on behalf of NHS England, NCAP is the next phase in the development of the National Audit of Schizophrenia.

The scope of the new audit includes both inpatient and community care provided for people with a broader group of severe mental health problems.

Key performance areas include the assessment and treatment of physical health, health promotion, prescribing practice, use of evidence-based psychological treatments and access to services at times of crisis.

It will also include a detailed examination of the quality of care provided by Early Intervention in Psychosis teams and forensic mental health services.

Year One: Core audit

The first year of the audit (2017-18) included an audit of practice which has now closed. The core audit examined care being provided to people with a psychosis by inpatient and outpatient services using the core audit standards (PDF), based on the 2014 NICE schizophrenia guidelines.

The NCAP report was launched under embargo on 25 June 2018 at the International Congress of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and has now been published. You can access the national report under Core audit tools and report.

Year Two: Spotlight audit on Early Intervention in Psychosis services

In the second year of the audit (2018/19) we focused on the care provided to patients by EIP services. The standards (PDF) are based on the 2016 Early Intervention in Psychosis Access and Waiting Time Standard (PDF).

We collected data via case note audit form and a contextual data questionnaire in October and November 2018, and the report was published in Summer 2019. You’ll find useful documents, including the timeline, under Resources for the EIP Spotlight audit.

Year Three: Audit on Early Intervention in Psychosis services

The third year of the audit (2019/20), will again look at the care provided to patients by EIP services. We will also be carrying out a survey of people treated by EIP services to understand more about their experience of care.

The standards for the case note audit are based on the 2016 Early Intervention in Psychosis Access and Waiting Time Standard. People who have used EIP services helped us develop the survey, and the survey asks about elements of care they felt were important and areas important to care providers.

We’ll be collecting data via case note audit form and a contextual questionnaire in October and November 2019. The survey will be sent out in June and returned by October 2019. The report will be published in Spring/Summer 2020.

This year, for English Trusts only, we will be collecting some patient identifiable information (NHS number, date of birth and postcode) as part of the case note audit. This is in order to examine the feasibility of collecting future audit data via NHS Digital to reduce the work of services. It will also enable us to examine longer-term outcomes, for example what other NHS services people use and how effective the interventions provided by EIP services are. In order to collect this data, we have applied for Section 251 approval. We will not be requesting Trusts to provide any identifiable data until we have received this approval.

We work with professional bodies, voluntary sector providers and campaigning organisations.

We comply with the CCQI ethical audit standards and don't require ethics approval or patient consent.

Partner organisations

We work with a number of partner organisations which represent key stakeholders in the audit:

Steering Group

At least one member from each of these organisations sat on the NCAP steering group.

The purpose of this group was to provide the our project team with expertise from multiple backgrounds to plan, structure, carry out and interpret the results of the audit fully and without bias.

Registered organisations

Find out if your Trust/Organisation is registered on the audit.

Find out who does what.

If you would like to get in touch, please email us or phone 020 3701 2602/ 2756.

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