The review, chaired by Dr Geraldine Strathdee, will focus on whether data is collated and used to identify risk factors for patient safety
"The UK government's rapid review is a step in the right direction, but there’s a long way to go. We need the UK government to launch a full statutory inquiry into failings in inpatient mental health services where the voices of people with lived experience and their loved ones are heard and essential systemic changes are identified." Gemma Byrne, head of health, policy and campaigns, Mind
The government has published the terms of reference for its rapid review of data in mental health patient settings.
The review, which was announced in January, is designed to examine how patient safety risks can be identified more effectively, following a Sky News investigation into alleged failures in the care of adolescents at mental health units run by the Huntercombe Group. It will be chaired by Dr Geraldine Strathdee.
A wide range of data on mental health inpatient services collected by national bodies, regional teams, local systems and providers of NHS-funded care will be included in the review. The aim is to understand how this data is used and acted on.
The review is also tasked with understanding how the experiences and views of patients, families, staff and advocates relevant to mental health inpatient services are collected, analysed, collated and used.
It will look at whether data and intelligence are collected and used in such a way as to identify risk factors for inpatient safety. This will include examining whether the data aids understanding of patient and carer experience; whether people are experiencing high-quality care; whether patients are cared for in a safe and therapeutic environment; and how data and intelligence are used by providers and commissioners to reduce risk. It will also consider ways in which the collection and use of data can better identify settings where patient safety might be at risk and to make sure that decision-makers have the information they need to monitor and improve patient safety effectively.
The review is expected to produce a report will be produced on the findings, which will include a set of agreed recommendations for improvements in the way local and national data is gathered and used to monitor patient safety in mental health inpatient services. These recommendations will include:
Responding to the announcement of the terms of reference, Gemma Byrne, head of health, policy and campaigns at mental health charity Mind, said: “The UK government’s rapid review, if carried out effectively, has the potential to provide invaluable information on how failures in mental health inpatient settings can be better identified. However, what it seems this review will not provide are learnings on how the UK government and NHS can prevent appalling treatment from happening in the future and urgently address the poor treatment still going on today. Identifying problems is not enough – we need prevention and solutions.”
“Anyone that goes into hospital for their mental health deserves to receive safe, compassionate and therapeutic care, but this is far from what is currently being delivered. To get to that point, we need to see widespread systemic change across inpatient mental health care. The UK government’s rapid review is a step in the right direction, but there’s a long way to go. We need the UK government to launch a full statutory inquiry into failings in inpatient mental health services where the voices of people with lived experience and their loved ones are heard and essential systemic changes are identified. This needs to go hand in hand with the overdue long-term investment mental health services need to deliver these changes.”
In response to the original announcement, Rosena Allin-Khan, the shadow cabinet minister for mental health, said: “Labour has long been calling for a rapid review of these services, following numerous allegations made at several inpatient units last year.”
This review into the use of data relating to inpatients in mental health settings represents an important first step in addressing some of the failures we have seen in the sector, which has included the very poor care of adolescent in patients in private hospitals. We very much agree with Gemma Byrne of Mind that this review could provide valuable information about how to identify failings in care, but this can only be part of the solution. As Byrne says, we need to see systemic change in all inpatient mental health settings.