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


The benefits of participation in NAPT

Comments on NAPT by services which took part in the baseline audit:

'We chose to take part in the project as we recognised that it would be beneficial to be part of a national audit of psychological services, where we could be benchmarked against other services and assess our performance, offering indicators as to where improvement was needed within our service.............

'The audit process has helped us to clarify these areas [for improvement] and think as a team about the best ways of trying to address them.'

Service lead, Mersey Care NHS Trust


'I chose for our service to take part in the audit because I wanted an independent overview of how we were doing and if our service is on the right track with provision of therapy to clients. I thought it was an excellent opportunity to get a non-biased and impartial perspective on what we’re doing (and it saved us doing our own audit!)...........


'The audit was a confidence boost to myself and my other colleagues who work in the [name of service] and shows we’re working hard to provide a good enough service to older adults, when this work can so often be overlooked.'

Service lead, East London NHS Foundation Trust


Supporting local services

The NAPT team were responsive to the feedback from services which took part in the baseline audit.

Feedback collected from the baseline services helped us to streamline data collection and provide more meaningful data analysis.

As with the baseline audit, services and individuals will be able to use their individualised reports, support from our regional leads, action planning tool kits and regional action planning and quality improvement events to:

  • Understand the views and experiences of those using their service
  • Benchmark their practice and performance against others;
  • Identify areas in which they are performing well and areas for improvement

We are aware that all services have to collect and report data both internally and to various other bodies. We have used learning from the NAPT baseline, working with our partner organisations and some IT software companies to find the best ways to reduce duplication and burden in the data collection process for NAPT.

Each service is unique in the way it works and so we were mindful that we had to find a way of collecting data that is applicable to each service taking part. At the same time, there had to be some consistency in the data we collected overall in order to be able to measure the audit standards. We aimed to ensure that the data collection process was as efficient as possible, so that the central NAPT team was not overwhelmed, which would cause a delay to both national and service reports being published on time.


Meeting national requirements

NAPT is a project in the National Clinical Audit and Patient Outcomes Programme (NCAPOP).

It was expected that every mental health Trust in England and Wales would submit data from each of their eligible services. Organisations can report participation in NAPT as part of their Quality Accounts (England) and it is a contractual part of the national psychological therapy review in Wales.

The guidance below gives further details:



The Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP) has stated that:


‘clinicians, and their employing Trusts, should view a well designed and effective national audit programme as an essential tool for them to improve services and assess performance’.


Creating a national picture of performance

By participating in the audit, services have helped to create an overview of performance across the country.


This will enable the Department of Health and NHS Wales to develop realistic policies and targets to support service development, based on an accurate understanding of what is happening in the field.


The re-audit will show whether performance against the quality standards has been maintained or improved.



Where next...


NAPT, College Centre for Quality Improvement, Second Floor,

Royal College of Psychiatrists, 21 Prescot St,

London, E1 8BB.    

Tel: 020 3701 2521 



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