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


What is QNPICU?

The Quality Network for Psychiatric Intensive Care Units (QNPICU) is run by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Centre for Quality Improvement. QNPICU, formally AIMS PICU, is a quality improvement initiative that offers accreditation and developmental membership options.

QNPICU adopts a multi-disciplinary approach to quality improvement, with a key component of our work being the sharing of best practice through the facilitation of peer-review visits.

Accreditation assures staff, service users, carers, commissioners and regulators of the quality of the service being provided. It also provides a platform for recognition for wards and units. The Network serves to identify areas of achievement and areas for improvement in individual services, through a culture of openness and enquiry. The model is based on engagement rather than inspection and this is achieved by facilitating and encouraging quality improvement through a supportive network of members and rigorous peer-review process.


Why focus on Psychiatric Intensive Care Units?

Psychiatric intensive care units provide care for what could be described as some of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable members of our society. However, historically, PICUs were developed by local services without national guidance or knowledge about the experience of others, leading to variations in policies and practice that have not always best served those using the services.


In recent years much work has been done to establish an evidence-base and develop
consensus on what should be expected of PICUs.


Why join the Network?

Information about the value and importance of joining QNPICU.

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Our standards

We believe that it is important that our standards reflect the issues which make a difference to the experience of the person using the service. Read more on our standards


How accreditation works

Accreditation process explained.

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Please click here for QNPICU events.


Advisory Group/ Accreditation Committee

Read more about the governance of the Network.


QNPICU terminology, self- and peer-reviews explained.

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We welcome new members so if your service is interested in joining QNPICU, please click here


If you have any questions, or need more information, then please contact the project team.

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View the list of QNPICU member units and their accreditation status.