About the AIMS network

AIMS-WA and AIMS-AT work with services to assure and improve the quality of acute inpatient services for working-age adults.

Through a comprehensive and standardised process of review, we identify and acknowledge high standards of clinical care and organisation, and also support and advise services to achieve these where necessary.

Involving service users and carers in our work is a focus and priority. Individuals with first-hand experience of using services are encouraged to get involved in all stages of the accreditation process. Accreditation helps to assure staff, service users and carers, commissioners and regulators of the quality of the service being provided. 

Accreditation allows services to demonstrate the quality of care they provide to service users and carers, their wider organisation and commissioners.

Services are also able to demonstrate that they meet national guidelines and standards. This can form part of the information they provide to regulatory bodies, as recommended by the National Quality Board.

Information gathered through the accreditation process can also be used in trust quality accounts, as recommended by the National Quality Board. Achievement of accredited status may additionally support services to reduce their financial contribution to the NHS Resolution (previously the NHS LA).

  • A wide range of stakeholders are involved, including staff from various professional backgrounds, service users and their carers and partner organisations
  • Services are supported to identify and address areas for development and improvement
  • Active on-going network support: members are supported to share best practice, seek advice and pool learning through regular newsletters, an email discussion group, an annual forum and publication of resources on a members-only website
  • Sharing of good practice: services are engaged with a network of peers, enabling sharing of good practice and providing a forum for advice and information sharing
  • Personal development: individuals receive peer reviewer training and are able to improve their professional practice
  • Spread of learning within the organisation: learning and innovations arising from the accreditation process are often disseminated beyond the participating ward to other services within the organisation
  • Benchmarking and trend analysis: we produce a national report (usually every two years) enabling wards to benchmark their own performance against other services, and identifying trends in service provision.

Focused on excellence

We believe that all services for people with mental health problems should provide high quality care. We seek to work in ways that support and enable services with development needs to improve and those that are performing well to aspire to excellence.

User-centred

We believe that the experience of people using services is key to the design and delivery of high quality care. For this reason, from the design of our programme to our work with individual services, we seek to engage people with real experience of using services, their carers and representative organisations.

Aligned with the performance management and regulatory framework

We know that teams and organisations need to be able to demonstrate the quality of the care they provide. Our work is aligned with national standards and requirements as well as acknowledged best practice.

Locally owned

We believe that real improvements can only be achieved when those who need to make change happen are fully involved. The work of QED is led by front-line staff, engages senior service managers and involves patients and their carers.

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