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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

OP79. Do the Right Thing: How to Judge a Good Ward

Price: £0.00

Published: Jun 2011

Status: current

Number of pages: 20

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Ten standards for adult in-patient mental healthcare


Quality in-patient care is as vital as ever. It is particularly relevant for the increasing number of individuals with mental disorder who are detained under mental health laws.


In-patient services need continued investment to make the patient experience healthier, safer and more conducive to proper clinical recovery and rehabilitation. In the new political and economic climate, it is time to re-examine this issue and to identify essential areas for improvement. With the prospect of new commissioning frameworks, general practice commissioners will need guidance in assessing quality of in-patient care.


This report describes the ten standards for working-age adult in-patient wards that working psychiatrists believe to be vital to the effective operation of wards and delivery of high-quality care, and those that most directly affect outcomes. They have been distilled from agreed existing standards for in-patient care.


The aims of this occasional paper are:


(a) to offer a useful minimum checklist of standards for managers and commissioners of services to apply in strategic planning and in assessing for themselves the quality of their wards; and


(b) to provide elaboration of the ten standards drawing on the evidence of current practice as found by the reviewing bodies.


  • Executive summary
  • Introduction
  • The evidence: a summary
  • Ten standards of adult in-patient mental healthcare: a detailed case
  • Appendix: The ten key standards checklist
  • References
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