The National Clinical Audit of Psychosis (NCAP) is commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP)as part of the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP). The programme is funded by NHS England and Improvement and the Welsh Government.
NCAP aims to improve the quality of care that NHS Mental Health Trusts in England and Health Boards in Wales provide to people with psychosis. Services are measured against criteria relating to the care and treatment they provide, so that the quality of care can be improved.
NCAP has been running since 2017 and was developed to follow on from the National Audit of Schizophrenia (NAS) which took place between 2011-2014. In 2017/18 the audit looked at care being provided to people with psychosis by inpatient and outpatient services. Then from 2018 onwards the audit focused on the quality of care provided by Early Intervention in Psychosis (EIP) teams. These are specialised services providing prompt assessment and evidence-based treatments to people with first-episode psychosis. NCAP has received funding for a further three years up until 31 July 2025 and will continue to focus on healthcare improvement of EIP services.
The following services are expected to participate in the audit:
- All NHS-funded Early Intervention in Psychosis teams in England and Wales
- NHS-funded Children and Young People’s Mental Health/Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in England where Early Intervention in Psychosis teams do not extend their offer to Children and Young People
For the current programme running from 2022-2025 the audit will move away from collecting bespoke audit data and will instead use routine data (e.g., MHSDS in England) which will reduce the burden of data collection on EIP teams and allow them to focus resources on patient care. Additionally, we will develop an online dashboard which will allow teams to view their performance as soon as the data is uploaded. The first year of this programme will be a developmental year during which we set up the new audit methodology and pilot it with a few teams prior to rolling it out nationally.
In addition to this NHS England have advised that the new contract for the NCAP would not offer their Mental Health Policy Team sufficient information to assess psychosis services against the NHS Long Term Plan. They therefore proposed and would like to fund at least one further round (one year) of the bespoke data collection audit. This will take place in early 2023.
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.
We work with a number of partner organisations which represent key stakeholders in the audit:
- British Psychological Society
- Care Quality Commission
- College of Mental Health Pharmacy
- Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership
- National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health
- NHS England and Improvement
- Public Health Department Wales
- Rethink Mental Illness
- Royal College of General Practitioners
- Royal College of Nursing.
Members from these organisations sat on the NCAP steering group.
The purpose of this group is to provide our project team with expertise from multiple backgrounds to plan, structure, carry out and interpret the results of the audit fully and without bias.
The NCAP implementation group co-ordinates expert and specialist input into audit development and operation. It comprises:
- Paul French – Clinical Advisor
- Veenu Gupta – Service user Advisor
- Professor Jo Smith – Clinical Advisor
- Dr Dasha Nicholls – Clinical and Strategic Director of the CCQI
- NCAP project team
Service User and Carer Reference Group (SUCRG)
The SUCRG is made up of individuals who have lived experience of early intervention in psychosis (EIP) mental health services, either as a patient or a carer for someone who has used an EIP service. They work in parallel to the Steering Group with the Service User Advisor to provide collective feedback on key decisions in the audit to ensure these reflect issues of importance to patients with FEP and their families/carers.
Please see the NCAP Organogram.