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Island's acute mental health inpatient service judged 'excellent' in accreditation by Royal College

Friday, 9 November 2012

The Department of Health's acute inpatient mental health service based at Grianagh Court on the Noble's Hospital estate has been re-accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists under the Accreditation for Inpatient Mental Health Services (AIMS). The accreditation scheme assesses services against over 200 standards, with the aim of improving the quality of care in inpatient mental health wards. At the outcome of accreditation, inpatient mental health services operating from Grianagh Court were rated by assessors as 'excellent'.

Minister for Health, David Anderson MHK said:

'I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the entire team at Grianagh Court who have worked so tirelessly to not only meet the exacting standards required to receive accreditation, but who have also gone above and beyond the standard, going on to be accredited as 'excellent'. This isn't about an award or a certificate; it's about measuring the quality of our care and the effectiveness of the services we provide for some of the most vulnerable in our society - a group which remains a very high priority for Government. I'm delighted that those in our community with mental health and emotional problems - as well as their families and carers - can be assured of the highest quality of inpatient care.'

The accreditation process involves 3 stages. At the start of the process a self-review is carried out, using questionnaires for staff, patients and carers. There is also an audit of healthcare records. The second stage sees a Peer Review, with a visit to and assessment of the unit by a team of 5 people. The team that visited the Isle of Man consisted of service a user, a support worker, a carer representative, a Senior Nurse Practitioner, and the Head of Nursing from the 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Feedback is given at the end of the day-long assessment, but with no indication as to whether not accreditation has been secured. The third stage sees the Peer Review Group write a report, highlighting the unit's strengths, weaknesses and areas for improvement against the AIMS standards with a recommendation on accreditation made to the governing body.

The standards are broken down into 5 categories:

  • General Standards
  • Timely and Purposeful Admission
  • Safety
  • Environment and Facilities
  • Therapies and Activities

Dee Notman, In-Patient/Day Treatment Manager at Grianagh Court said:

'The team are delighted with the result. Whilst scrutiny by professionals is important and forms a large part of the accreditation process, the involvement of carer and patient representatives gives added focus to non-clinical care elements. This ensures that the accreditation process takes a holistic view of care from both the professional side and the patient's perspective. Following the rigorous assessment process, the decision on whether to accredit, and at what level, is made by the Royal College’s AIMS Accreditation Committee which is made up clinicians and managers, as well as service user and carer representatives. The decision then faces ratification by the Royal College’s Special Committee on Professional Practice and Ethics. So it’s an in depth exercise that has a significant amount of scrutiny at some of the highest levels of our profession. Whilst we’re by no means complacent and recognise scope for continuous improvement; with AIMS we’re able to demonstrate that we rigorously meet the very highest national standards as well as being able to benchmark ourselves against other units across the UK.'

Grianagh Court first achieved accreditation in October 2008, being one of only 10% of applicants to be accredited at a first attempt. This second review sees the unit re-accredited under AIMS for a further 4 years, with the third review scheduled for 2016. The unit's re-accreditation comes only weeks after another of the Island's Mental Health Services – the Memory Clinic – also received accreditation from the Royal College of Psychiatrists under the Memory Services National Accreditation Programme (MSNAP).

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