About the veterans network

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The Quality Network for Veterans Mental Health Services (QNVMHS) was developed in collaboration with the Contact Group in 2020 to promote quality improvement within and between veterans mental health services.

We adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to quality improvement in veterans mental health services. A key component of our work is the sharing of best practice by listening to and being led by staff, veterans and their family members/carers. 

We want to identify areas for improvement through a culture of openness and enquiry. The model is one of engagement rather than inspection. We aim to facilitate quality improvement through a supportive network and peer-review process.

Our aims

Our network aims to:

  • promote quality improvement 
  • support services to share best practice 
  • assist members through an action planning process 
  • facilitate networking opportunities 
  • build a community of veteran mental health services who can learn from one another.

Self-review

The team will begin with a 12-week self-review process. The team’s QNVMHS project link person will provide all the necessary materials to complete the self-review process. We have developed a centre wide information management system (CARS) which QNVMHS uses to manage the data collected during a service’s review process. The team will nominate two main contacts for QNVMHS who will be set up on this system with their own username and password.

During the self-review, teams are asked to review themselves against our standards and score themselves as ‘met’ or ‘not met’ against each. We will also ask for surveys to be completed by the following groups of people:

  • staff
  • veterans that have accessed the mental health service
  • friends, families and carers (of veterans that have accessed the service).

Peer review

About a month following the end of the self-review period, the team will have a peer review visit. The visit is one day and will include staff from our other member services, a veteran representative and a representative from the QNVMHS team.

The aim of the peer-review visit is to validate the self-review data. Throughout the day there will be different meetings with different people including; staff, managers and patients and carers.

Report

Following the peer-review visit, we will type up the findings into a report. The team will have 30 days to read through the report, ensure it is accurate and provide any more information.

It will also include the number of standards the team are meeting from each section of the standards and by each ‘type’ of standard.

If you are interested in joining the network, please contact us at veterans@rcpsych.ac.uk so we can learn a bit more about your service and offer you further information.

Developmental membership

This membership option is for any new teams that sign up to the Quality Network for Veterans Mental Health Services and is considered as a 'stepping stone' towards accreditation membership. It is also the ideal membership option for any teams that might require additional support to reach a higher level of compliance with the standards. Developmental membership will work on an annual basis, where services receive a peer review visit every year. The process includes:

  • Two-month self-review process
  • Peer review visit
  • Local report with tailored recommendations
  • Action planning support
  • Aggregated report

Unlike with accreditation, there is no threshold to meet; services do not need to meet a percentage of Type 1, 2 or 3 standards. This allows services to focus on quality improvement.

Accreditation membership

Accreditation membership is for any team that has undergone at least one year as a developmental member and can demonstrate they are meeting a high threshold of the standards. This membership option works on a three-year cycle, with services receiving an in-depth peer review visit and interim review within this time. The review day will be more concentrated on the evidence provided, with a focus on how services are meeting the standards. This process includes:

  • three-month self-review process
  • peer review visit
  • local report with tailored recommendations
  • accreditation committee (AC) review for up to 6 months
  • accreditation certificate (following AC decision)
  • interim review after 18 months
  • aggregated report.

Services must meet 100% of Type standards, 80% of Type 2 standards and 60% of Type 3 standards in order to be awarded accreditation. Services will be accredited from their first presentation at the accreditation committee, and this will be valid for three years following a satisfactory interim review.

Cost

Both membership options are £2,500 + VAT per year.

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