Priory Group – safety, quality and compliance

Priory Group aspires to deliver the highest quality behavioural care to those in mental health, learning disabilities and autism, specialist education, nursing and residential care services.

Priory expects all of its employees to deliver the highest standards of treatment, care, intervention and education. This is supported by a culture of being open, delivering evidence-based practice and facilitating continuous learning and improvement opportunities for our staff. We aspire to be world class and a beacon of good practice for other health and social care organisations by being transparent about safety, quality, compliance and governance.

Our services are safe and effectively regulated. We measure our success by providing objective, quantitative and auditable data that measures outcomes, effectiveness and user experience to continuously drive improvement. A uniform approach across the Priory Group of Companies is ensured through our divisional staff structure, whereby each division has its own chief executive officer (CEO). This level of oversee is paralleled through our ‘Your Say’ forums – within which each individual member of staff provides details of what works well and what does not, at a site-specific level.

The primary responsibility of the department is to support the group in delivering the safety, quality and compliance agenda. Providing leadership and direction, the department is structured into three divisions: safety, quality and compliance.


Priory aspires to being openlearning from any incidents which may occur, offering speedy resolution and effectively managing all risk. We do this via our incident reporting process, complaints process, risk register and risk assessment process. 

We have a number of policies and procedures to support the safety agenda:

  • Health and safety
  • Infection control
  • Data protection
  • IT incidents
  • Risk management strategy
  • Reporting of injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences (RIDDOR)
  • Fire safety
  • First aid
  • Hazardous substances (COSHH)
  • Manual handling
  • Safety of disabled and temporarily disabled staff
  • Major incident

Quality and assurance

Our quality and assurance statement is as follows:  

Priory Healthcare aspires to deliver the highest quality of care across our range of pathways, which include acute, eating disorders, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), psychiatric intensive care, rehabilitation and recovery and forensic facilities.

Our clinical teams within Priory are supported by a corporate assurance function that includes an internal inspection team. This enables our services to be safe and effectively regulated and enhances the effectiveness of services and care provided. This approach ensures that the high levels of treatment, care, intervention and education that we expect are delivered.

Achieving positive outcomes, coupled with the positive experience of our service users and staff, define the quality of our service and are at the heart of everything that we do. This approach is also reflective of the national agenda for quality. 

Our priorities for driving quality within Priory are to:

  • Exceed national standards of care
  • Improve outcomes for both our adult and adolescent service users
  • Deliver safe and secure services
  • Ensure a positive experience of care for all who use our services
  • Invest in our staff through education and training
  • Ensure that our policies and procedures are up to date, are evidence-based and take into consideration regional variations i.e. Wales, Scotland Northern Ireland and England


All providers of health and specialist services, education and social care have a core responsibility to strive for excellence in the services that they provide, and to identify areas for improvement. Our promise shows our commitment to delivering the highest standards of care, treatment and education for the people we support. However, we are also required by law to show how we implement our promise in practice, and to demonstrate that we can achieve consistently high standards across all our services.

Our sector is regulated by two main bodies: the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which reports on health and adult social care services in England, and Ofsted, which inspects and regulates services that care for children and young people, in addition to those providing education for learners of all ages. There are equivalent bodies responsible for service regulation in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. These include: Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA), Social Care and Social Work Improvement Scotland (SCSWIS), Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS), Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) and Health Inspectorate Wales (HIW).

Priory has a strong track record of clinical quality which is supported by robust outcome data made available to commissioners. Our facilities are inspected by external bodies through the CQC or Ofsted - alongside other regulatory standards that capture the high level of compliance that our estate meets. Priory has also achieved ISO accreditation. With strict clinical governance protocols, the group ensures a consistently high quality of person-centred care, education and support.

Priory ensures that services are compliant by:

  • An internal compliance team, led by the deputy director of compliance
  • Three divisional heads of compliance (healthcare, education and children's services and adult care)
  • A number of inspectors each linked to one of our service types
  • Our internal compliance team visit all the services on a regular basis. Using an inspection tool they assess whether each service is compliant or non-compliant in line with the appropriate regulations
  • Our reporting structures and quality monitoring procedures – each service has a monthly CG committee that has a standardised agenda mapped against the CQC outcomes. A QA committee, chaired by a Priory Group NED, feeds directly into the board and scrutinises quality data in detail. There is a further safeguarding sub-committee to provide extra focus on safeguarding across the Priory
  • Our quality dashboard – in order to allow clear line of sight from board to ward, a number of scorecards and a quality dashboard are in place which link quality, HR and finance indicators together. These are produced monthly and tracked for trends with action taken where necessary
  • Quality walk-rounds – we have implemented a weekly quality walk-round to provide rolling assurance in key quality areas. The template is underpinned by the 15 Steps Challenge for Mental Health, IHI principles and data from the quality performance indicators/themes from inspections
  • Audit – a divisional audit calendar is in situ as well as a minimum of three audits per year that are bespoke to their requirements with clear action-planning requirements and evidence of change reported to the head of quality
  • Action-planning for improvement and securing improvements is the responsibility of operational staff

Delivering the best possible outcomes for the people who use our services is about more than simply satisfying the requirements of the regulators, it’s about leading for improvement. Our commitment to the people who use our services is to be a market leader in innovation and best practice, and so we need to follow the latest guidance and evidence available for our sectors. This is why our safety, quality and assurance processes – outlined above – are structured in such a way as to allow us to meet and exceed these service requirements.

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