Quality Network for Prison Mental Health Services (QNPMHS) - Patient Representative x1 in total

  • Location : London
  • Status : Three-year fixed-term contract
  • Salary : £140 per day and £70 per half day
  • Closing date : 28/02/2022
  • Interview date : 08/03/2022


The Royal College of Psychiatrists is seeking a Patient Representative to join the Quality Network for Prison Mental Health Services (QNPMHS) as a worker. The successful applicant will have recent lived experience of being in prison and interacting with the prison mental health team. 

As part of this role, you will be closely involved with the Network and particularly with the project team, to engage the wider membership and partner organisations in advocating for the QNPMHS patient groups. The role is collaborative and we aim to amplify your skills as an expert by experience. 

The Network is a quality improvement projects that works with prison mental health services all around the UK. The views, ideas, skills and experience of people who have used these services are vital to support service development and improvement 

The Network takes prison mental health teams through a supportive process of self- and peer-review to assess how the service is performing against an agreed set of quality standards. 

The self-review involves completion of a team checklist and gathering of feedback from patients, partner agencies and staff. The peer-review visit takes place over one whole day and involves verifying the self-review data, considering the service in its unique context and exchanging information about best practice. Peer-review teams comprise of prison mental health care professionals, a member of the QNPMHS project team and a patient representative. 

Read more about the Networks.

Patient representatives attend and contribute to the peer reviews. Involvement with the Advisory Group, standards development, annual conferences and other events are also part of the role. 

The prison network offers flexibility and can work with representatives at a slower pace. We are keen to work with representatives in a way that makes best use of their skills. The next 6 months will operate within the online realm and travel for work will not be required. We are particularly interested in applications from those who experience a lack of access, intersecting barriers or other types or marginalisation due to race, gender, sexuality, disabilities, long term health conditions and socio-economic background.  

Description of the main stages of the Networks  

Quality standards for specific mental health services – The standards spell out what needs to happen in order to provide a good service and are used to measure service quality.  For example, a standard on patient information might state ‘patients are offered a summary of their care plan’.  This standard would then be measured and if a mental health team is not meeting the standard, they will be offered recommendations to help meet it in the future.  

Who decides what goes in the standards?  

The standards are developed by looking at existing guidance and by consulting with experts in the field, including staff, patients and carers.  This will sometimes involve a large meeting where people discuss what should and should not be included.   

  • Self-review - This involves us sending out questionnaires or other forms for staff, patients and carers to fill in and send back to us.  We sometimes refer to these as ‘data collection tools’. These all link to the quality standards and help to inform us about whether a standard is being met.  
  • Peer review – This involves mental health staff, patients and/or carers visiting another mental health service for a day to look around, interview people and take part in group discussions. People going on peer reviews, whether clinicians, patients or carers, all receive full training and support from the project team. These are day-long visits which follow a clear structure and are facilitated by an experienced lead.  
  • Writing reports – Project staff write reports which summarise the achievements of the service as well as areas they need to improve upon.  The reports are sent back to the service so that they can learn from the findings. 
  • Learning events – Some projects hold events so that people in particular areas of mental health can share ideas and help each other improve ways of working.  Patients and carers are often involved in these events, with the potential for dedicated workshops being run by patients and carers about their experiences and how this can support service improvement. 
  • Advisory Group - Each network has its own Advisory Group comprising of professionals who represent key interests and areas of expertise relevant to the network, and patients and carers who have experience of using the services the network focuses on. The purpose of the group is to advise and further the work of the network. 

RCPsych has developed a high media profile and is a leading organisation in terms of equality and diversity. It was a recent winner of Charity of the Year at the European Diversity Awards. This is an excellent opportunity for patients and carers to contribute their perspectives on mental health equality issues and be part of our ongoing strategy and communications development. 

Please complete the enclosed application form and return it with an updated CV to Please send any other queries to this address as well.

How to apply

For more information and instructions on how to apply, please download the following documents:

We welcome applications from all sectors of the community.

Closing date: Monday 28 February 2022 at 10am

Interview date: Tuesday 8 March 2022 - by Microsoft Teams

The College is an Equal Opportunities Employer. Charity registration no. 228636

No agencies or publications please.