About the work of the College Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI)
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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

What We Do

The College Centre for Quality Improvement (CCQI) works with more than 90% of trusts in the UK who provide mental health services. Within the CCQI we focus on four key areas:


quality networks


Quality Networks – Our CCQI projects work to review services against established guidelines and standards with the aim of supporting services to improve the quality of care they offer.



Accreditation – Accredited services are measured against a set of national quality standards to check that the right things are in place to encourage good quality care. In order to maintain accreditation, the service needs to demonstrate consistently high standards over time by being reviewed at regular periods.


national clinical audits



National Clinical Audits – Our CCQI National Clinical Audits seek to improve patient care and outcomes through systematic review of care against explicit criteria and the implementation of change.




Research and Evaluation - The Health Services Research Team is based within the CCQI and conducts both large scale, national research and in-depth qualitative studies.







  • In 2017, the CCQI was awarded a staggering £2.3 million of new contracts for audits on psychosis and anxiety & depression.


  • Overall, membership of CCQI networks has increased modestly, with the prisons network (QNPMHS) seeing strong growth. Its prescribing network (POMH), for example, now has 72% of eligible mental health trusts in the UK signed up to it.


  • The Quality Network for Forensic Mental Health Services (QNFMHS) currently has 130 low and medium secure services throughout the UK and Ireland; on average, medium secure services successfully met 85% and low secure services met 84% of QNFMHS standards.


  • Throughout the last 10 years, the CCQI has pushed up the quality of care in Acute Working Age Wards (AIMS WA), specifically enabling 91% of accredited wards within the UK to be able to offer patients access to specialised psychological therapies.


  • The Psychological Liaison Accreditation Network works with liaison services across the UK to improve the quality of care received by patients and carers. According to their annual report, more carers reported being involved in treatment decisions and being offered a written summary of the assessment and care plan after PLAN intervention (91.6% compared to 66% previously).


  • At the point of self-review, almost a third of liaison teams lacked appropriate assessment facilities suitable for conducting high risk assessments. Thanks to support, advice and intervention from the PLAN team, the vast majority of those teams were able to improve their rooms and become accredited.


  • After their 4th cycle of accreditation, services accredited by the Electro-Convulsive Therapy Accreditation Service (ECTAS) meet over 97% of required quality standards.


  • The CCQI improved physical healthcare received by people with psychosis, as evidenced by an increase in monitoring and intervention (where needed) of all seven physical health measures as defined by the CQUIN, from 39% of inpatients in 2014/15 to 59% in 2016/17.


  • The engagement of mental health Trusts in national quality improvement programmes run by the Prescribing Observatory for Mental Health (POMH-UK) has yielded improvements in the safe and effective use of psychotropic medication. More specifically, Trusts engaged in POHM-UK have shown:
    • a sustained reduction in the use of antipsychotic medication for people with dementia
    • better biochemical monitoring of lithium therapy
    • improved physical health monitoring of people with a learning disability who are treated with antipsychotic medication


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