RCPsych’s College Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI) are celebrating two incredible landmarks – 1,000 online peer reviews of mental health services since the pandemic began, and almost 10,000 peer reviews since the first one took place 20 years ago.
The peer reviews play a vital role in maintaining and improving standards at the mental health services across the UK, who are members of our quality networks. The reviews are a great learning opportunity both for the services being visited, and for members of the quality network who are visitors, as they get to see first hand examples of good practice.
The CCQI’s multi-disciplinary teams traditionally visit mental health services in person, and conduct checks and speak to staff and patients to identify what’s going well and areas for improvement. But in 2020, the College needed to introduce a new approach as COVID restrictions meant the face to face visits were impossible.
Moving with exceptional speed, CCQI transitioned to a virtual visiting model, with the first one being by the Perinatal Quality Network to the Rosewood Mother and Baby Unit in 20 May 2020.
Fast forward to last month, and the team recorded their thousandth online peer review, across the 27 quality networks the College runs.
The College’s President, Dr Adrian James, hailed the achievement, saying: “The CCQI team must be praised for adapting to the pandemic and continuing to provide an important service to the mental health services across the UK which are members of our networks.”
'Best of both worlds'
Peter Thompson, Director of CCQI said: “Our quality network teams did fantastically well to transition to online peer reviews as quickly as they did.
“We actually found there were advantages to online peer reviews – people didn’t have to travel to attend reviews and we could conduct interviews before the day itself and use that feedback as part of the self review discussion. We were still about to collect rich feedback from patients, carers and frontline staff. This mean that we were able to continue to support the services that we work with during an incredibly challenging time for them”
“That being said, there are many advantages to face to face reviews too – getting to see locations first hand and meet people in person can give you a fuller picture.
“We have surveyed our members and they’ve said they’d would like a hybrid model in future - in which we do some online reviews and some face to face. We’re working on implementing that and hopefully it will provide the best of both worlds.”