Publications and resources


PICU-standards-2017-front-coverThese standards have been developed in consultation with individuals from member services of the Quality Network for Psychiatric Intensive Care Units (QNPICU) programme (previously AIMS PICU), patient and carer representatives and other experts.

1. Mapping exercise

The first stage of this process was to review the existing AIMS-PICU Standards for Psychiatric Intensive Care Units - 3rd Edition (2014) to identify gaps, to remove repetition and to identify those standards which could be phrased in a more measurable way. The second stage involved mapping these standards against the Royal College of Psychiatrists Standards for Inpatient Mental Health Services (2015). The purpose of this stage was to identify published inpatient standards that were applicable to PICU services.

2. Literature review

A literature review and review of key documents was carried out (see reference list).

3. Standards consultation event

AIMS PICU hosted a standards consultation event on 21 February 2017 for key stakeholders to comment on a draft of the revised standards. The event was attended by around 40 stakeholders including senior managers, multidisciplinary team staff, frontline staff and patients.

Following a brief introductory presentation on the process of developing the standards, delegates worked in small groups making verbal and written comments on the standards before feeding back at the end of the day. The delegates were asked to remove the standards no longer required, add further standards and edit existing standards.

4. Electronic consultation

In April 2017, a draft of the standards was sent electronically to AIMS PICU member services and the AIMS PICU advisory group.

5. Categorisation of standards

All criteria are rated as Type 1 or 2

Type 1: Essential standards. Failure to meet these would result in a significant threat to patient safety, rights or dignity and/or would breach the law. These standards also include the fundamentals of care, including the provision of evidence based care and treatment.

Type 2: Expected standards that all services should meet.

6. What the standards cover

The standards cover seven domains:

  • Admission and Assessment
  • Care Planning and Treatment
  • Referral, Discharge and Transfer
  • Patient and Carer Experience
  • Workforce
  • Environment and Facilities
  • Governance

The complete set of standards is aspirational; we do not expect services to meet every standard, and services can still be accredited without meeting all the standards.

Edition 3: November 2019 (pdf)

Edition 2: June 2019 (pdf)

Edition 1: October 2018 (pdf)

Bulletin 2: February 2018 (pdf)

Bulletin 1: October 2017 (pdf)

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The Quality Network publishes aggregated findings from the review process; the reports include information on key themes and shares best practice:

We have moved our email discussion groups onto a new, free to join, online forum called knowledge hub.

All our members are invited to join the QNPICU discussion forum on knowledge hub, which will allow you to:

  • Share best practice and quality improvement initiatives
  • Seek advice and connect with other members
  • Discuss current issues and policies
  • Share policies, procedures and guidelines
  • Advertise and view upcoming events and conferences

To join knowledge hub, please email ‘join knowledge hub’ to:

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