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

101 Recipes for Audit in Psychiatry

Edited by Clare Oakley, Floriana Coccia, Neil Masson, Iain McKinnon and Meinou Simmons

Price: £20.00

Members' discount available

Published: Mar 2011

Format: Paperback

Number of pages: 256

ISBN: 9781908020017

101 Recipes for Audit in Psychiatry

Audit is an essential activity for all psychiatrists. Involvement in audit must be evidenced by consultants for revalidation and by trainees in their Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCP). This book will therefore be relevant for psychiatrists of all grades. It aims to help ease the audit process by offering tried and tested recipes for conducting audits in clinical services. All the audits in this book have been undertaken by the authors and it therefore provides useful practical advice for carrying out the audits in day-to-day practice.

"A psychiatrist who cannot show that he or she has been involved in audit is going to be in difficulties."

– Prof. Robert Howard, Dean, Royal College of Psychiatrists

  • Audit recipes to suit a huge range of clinical settings and services.
  • Save time and get added value from the audit process.
  • Will help you through the requirements of appointments panels and revalidation.

Readership: Psychiatrists of all grades, plus other mental health professionals.



  • What is audit?
  • The audit cycle
  • Distinguishing audit from research
  • Why is audit important?
  • What is best practice in audit?
  • How can the results of audit lead to changes in practice?
  • How can audit benefit doctors?

Completing an audit project

Step 1. Choose a topic

Step 2. Consider forming a multidisciplinary team

Step 3. Review the literature

Step 4. Set standards

Step 5. Choose an audit design

Step 6. Collect the data

Step 7. Analyse the data

Step 8. Make conclusions and recommendations

Step 9. Disseminate results

Step 10. Implement change

Step 11. Re-audit

Part I: Disorders

1. Acute confusion: recognition

2. Antenatal and postnatal mental health

3. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: provision of information

4. Bipolar depression: treatment

5. Bipolar disorder: management

6. Bipolar disorder: shared decision-making

7. Bipolar disorder: treatment

8. Chronic fatigue syndrome

9. Dementia: driving

10. Dementia: end-of-life care

11. Dementia: investigations

12. Depression: management in children and young people

13. Eating disorders: management

14. Epilepsy: management

15. Opiate dependence and pregnancy

16. Schizophrenia: family interventions

17. Schizophrenia: management

18. Schizophrenia: occupational achievements

19. Self-harm: assessment

20. Self-harm: assessment in children

Part II: Legislation

21. Consent to treatment (Scotland)

22. Consent to treatment and second-opinion approved doctors

23. Mental Health Act (Scotland)

24. Seclusion

25. Section 17 leave

26. Section 136 assessments

27. Tribunal reports

Part III: Physical health

28. Diabetes: management

29. Infection control

30. Metabolic side-effects of antipsychotics

31. Metabolic syndrome

32. Monitoring growth and blood pressure in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

33. Physical examinations: equipment

34. Physical health of in-patients: assessment

35. Physical health of in-patients: record-keeping

36. Physical health of patients with severe mental illness

37. Screening for blood-borne viruses

38. Screening for breast and cervical cancer

39. Smoking cessation

40. Testing for illicit drug use

41. Venepuncture equipment

Part IV: Record-keeping

42. Alcohol history

43. Care plans in community drug and alcohol teams

44. Care programme approach: home treatment teams

45. Care programme approach: prisons

46. Care programme approach: secondary care

47. Confidential waste

48. Documentation of the psychiatric history

49. Documentation of ward reviews

50. Letters to general practitioners

51. Medication alerts in electronic patient records

52. Risk assessment: forms for in-patients

53. Risk assessment: medium-secure unit

Part V: Service provision

54. Early intervention teams

55. Emergency department: attendance

56. Information for in-patients on their rights

57. Interpreters

58. Liaison psychiatry: response time to referrals

59. Multi-agency working

60. Personal searches

61. Prison equivalence

62. Prison-to-hospital transfers

63. Seven-day follow-up

64. Substance misuse: Treatment Outcomes Profile

65. Transition from ‘choice’ to ‘partnership’ in the Choice and Partnership Approach

66. Transition planning in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder

67. Violent incidents: management

68. Waiting times

Part VI: Training

69. Audits

70. Course attendance

71. Safety

72. Workplace-based assessments

Part VII: Treatment

73. Alcohol withdrawal: management

74. Anticholinesterase inhibitors: monitoring of cardiac side-effects

75. Anticholinesterase inhibitors: prescribing

76. Antimuscarinic medications

77. Antipsychotics: combined and high dose

78. Antipsychotics: prescribing

79. Antipsychotics: use in dementia

80. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: prescribing

81. Atypical antipsychotics: monitoring

82. Behavioural problems in adults with intellectual disabilities: medication management

83. Benzodiazepines in old age psychiatry

84. Covert administration of medication

85. Depot antipsychotics: side-effects

86. Diazepam as rescue medication in epilepsy

87. Electroconvulsive therapy: facilities

88. Electroconvulsive therapy: indications

89. Hypnotics

90. Lithium: monitoring

91. Medicines reconciliation

92. Mood stabilisers: monitoring

93. Nurses’ administration of medication

94. Prescribing: British National Formulary limits

95. Prescribing: Mental Capacity Act

96. Prescribing: p.r.n. medication

97. Prescription charts

98. Psychological therapies

99. Psychotherapy re-referrals

100. Psychotropic prescriptions in dual diagnosis

101. Rapid tranquillisation


1. Forms for section 136 of the Mental Health Act

2. Pharmacological management of alcohol withdrawal



"Finding a topic to audit that is interesting, relevant and achievable within clinical practice can sometimes be difficult. This book is a valuable resource for anybody involved in undertaking an audit as part of their continuing professional development. It can be dipped in and out of time and time again."

- The Psychiatrist



About the editors:


Clare Oakley - Clinical Research Worker, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London.


Floriana Coccia - Honorary Clinical Lecturer, University of Birmingham & Specialty Registrar in general adult psychiatry, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust.


Neil Masson - Specialty Registrar in general adult psychiatry, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.


Iain McKinnon - Doctoral Research Fellow, National Institute for Health Research, Newcastle University


Meinou Simmons - Specialty Registrar in child and adolescent psychiatry, Cambridge and Peterborough Foundation Trust.



Quote from the editors:


"It can be difficult to find time to conduct thorough and useful audits in busy clinical practice.  This book will help by giving practical advice and a step by step guide to a range of audits that have been carried out across the country and across the specialty."



"A whole section is devoted to distinguishing between audit and research. Several of my colleagues have started out doing what they think is an audit only to find out later that what they have found and presented is in fact research. This section is particularly helpful in separating the two and avoiding this confusion."

- The Psychiatrist 





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