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


Who we are and what we do

The College Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI) is a Department of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The centre runs a variety of quality improvement and accreditation services, with sign up from over 90% of the mental health services in the country.


What we do

The Quality Network for Prison Mental Health Services engages services in an annual process of self and peer-review. We review member services against standards for prison mental health services (3rd edition). The standards act as a framework by which to assess the quality of prison mental health services.

Core standards for community services, developed by the British Standards Institution and the CCQI, appear alongside the specialist standards.


We aim to:

  • Promote quality improvement
  • Share best practice
  • Encourage a culture of openness
  • Create a model of engagement
  • Help services plan improvements for the future
  • Allow services to benchmark their practices against other similar services
  • Demonstrate the quality of the care they provide.



Review process

Review process

  • Stage 1: Agree Standards

    The standards for prison mental health services were created between 2013 - 2015 through extensive consultation with a variety of stakeholders.
    A third edition was published in October 2017, acknowledging feedback and recent developments in prison mental health.

  • Stage 2: Self Review – October to April

    The self-review process is an opportunity for you to score yourself and provide commentary against each of the standards for prison mental health services. You can say whether you have met, partly met or unmet each criteria.

  • Stage 3: Peer Review – December to June

    The peer-review visit is a supportive process, encouraging you to reflect on your achievements and challenges, whilst also considering improvements for the future.

  • Stage 4: Local Reports – January to July

A draft report is sent to you and the peer-review team within four weeks of the peer-review date for their comments. The final report is issued only to you within eight weeks of the peer-review date.

  • Stage 5: Action Planning – February – July

The report outlines the key achievements and challenges and suggests a number of action points for improvement for the following Cycle. Six weeks after receiving the final report we’ll expect to receive a copy of the action plan from you and this will be used in the next Cycle to identify any areas of change or improvement. View the template for action planning.

  • Stage 6: Annual Forum and Report – July

    At the end of the Cycle, an Annual Forum is held for members and those interested in the Quality Network.
    The day focuses on key trends from the past Cycle with presentations on specific areas relevant to prison mental health.

    The Annual Report explores each section of the published standards, drawing on key achievements, areas for improvements and solutions to common problems.

    Member services can benchmark their practices against others and gain ideas for service development from the presented examples of good practice.



Contact us

See who's on our advisory group and which mental health teams have signed up.

Please contact us if you'd like more information on the network or you'd like to join.

Megan Georgiou, Programme Manager
Tel: 020 3701 2701.



Become a member

Membership registration for cycle 4 (August 2018 - July 2019) has now closed.

For more information on joining the Network for cycle 5, please contact the project team. Please refer to the memorandum of understanding and costs of membership documents for further information.

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