Safety, quality and compliance

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The highest quality care and support

Here at Priory, we set out to deliver the highest quality care and support to the people in our services, and expect all of our colleagues to deliver the highest standards of support, care and treatment. We help our colleagues to do this by facilitating a culture of transparency and openness, promoting evidence-based practice and enabling continuous learning and improvement opportunities.

Our services are effectively regulated by our internal divisional teams, our corporate teams, and our external regulators, commissioners and stakeholders. We also use the feedback from the people who use our services, to make improvements.

We measure progress by using reliable data that measures outcomes, effectiveness and patient experience. We ensure a uniform approach across Priory, through our divisional management structure, whereby our divisions each have regional managing directors and a senior management team. Our central services teams are there to support our divisional teams in delivering the safety, quality and compliance agenda.


Our Adult Care services have a dedicated quality team that not only focuses on services being compliant with our regulators, but who also ensure that we provide evidence-based care and support, and that we're the best at what we do.

We benefit from having a team of specialist advisers consisting of:

  • Senior quality leads for each of the operational regions, as well as specialist teams of quality leads with vast amounts of experience in providing and delivering services to adults with a learning disability, mental health issues and autism, as well as older people care services
  • Dementia coaches who ensure the highest quality of care is provided across our dementia care homes
  • A team of positive behaviour support (PBS) practitioners who lead on the delivery of the Priory Adult Care PBS strategy. The strategy includes the provision of bespoke person-centred programmes, behaviour assessments, functional analysis and a wide range of support for people who need PBS
  • A national team of PROACT-SCIPr-UK® instructors, based within our sites, who deliver training to our staff teams
  • Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) specialists, with an extensive background in supporting people with this complex diagnosis

Clinical Strategy and Suicide Prevention Strategy

Our Executive Medical Director, Dr Adrian Cree, speaks about Priory's Clinical Strategy and Suicide Prevention Strategy. He explains the overarching themes and aims of each strategy.

You can access our full Clinical Strategy and Suicide Prevention Strategy documents, by clicking on the links presented below. You can also view the summaries, which provide digestible information from each document.


Priory Clinical Strategy

Priory Clinical Strategy summary

Priory Suicide Prevention Strategy

Priory Suicide Prevention Strategy summary

Safe and effective services

Our absolute priority is to make sure we operate safe and effective services and that all staff understand what's required of them to make that happen. We recognise that a strong safety culture is needed at all levels.

We have a comprehensive suite of policies to ensure staff are working consistently and in accordance with legislation and best practice. The policies are easily accessible and kept up to date by a dedicated team of staff. We have in place communication systems and site safety and governance meetings at our homes and hospitals, to ensure appropriate information sharing and management of risk.

At board level, there is a comprehensive review each month by the operational board and its sub-committees of all safety and risk matters. Structured reports in agreed formats are generated so that information and decision making is consistent.

We have a robust incident reporting culture, which enables immediate steps to be taken to manage risk and/or improve patient, staff or environmental safety, where needed.

Our internal compliance teams audit our homes and hospitals against the requirements laid out by our regulators and inspect against exactly the same standards, to ensure consistency. Action plans are developed and support provided until improvements are embedded.

We strive to ensure each home and hospital has the correct amount of staff and the right skill and seniority mix for each shift. Our staffing ratios accord with best practice or national guidance (for instance, our child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) units are staffed in accordance with Quality Network for Inpatient CAMHS (QNIC) guidelines) and there are clear escalation and support procedures when staff call in sick, to ensure appropriate cover. We have a wide pool of talent to draw on, consisting of permanent staff and bank staff. We only use agency staff where there is no alternative and we only use trusted agency suppliers who we contract with on our own terms and conditions.

We also recognise that staff work best when they have opportunities to progress and develop themselves and we have in place development opportunities for all of our staff, regardless of their role. All staff have access to our academy platform, which allocates a unique learning and development programme to each person depending on their role. All staff must attend certain mandatory training modules such as fire safety and emergency first aid at work. Training completion rates are monitored to ensure compliance rates are as high as possible.

We aspire to having an open and honest culture and encourage our staff to give feedback through consistent supervision structures. We also provide staff with opportunities to raise concerns if they're worried about any matters relating to patient and resident care. For example, we have a whistleblowing helpline and an established network of freedom to speak up champions and a freedom to speak up guardian.

We also have a dedicated, independent team that investigates all serious incidents and we aim to circulate serious incident reports to families and statutory agencies in a timely manner. We liaise with the people we support and their families as part of investigation processes and encourage them to make comments on our reports. We co-operate fully with all enquiries from the police, safeguarding, commissioners or regulators as appropriate, following a serious incident. Lessons learned from all incidents are shared between staff and sites on a regular basis and improvements monitored and audited.

We ensure that our facilities are well-maintained, fit for purpose and accord with regulatory requirements and expectations. We use an allocated budget to maintain, develop and refurbish our facilities, with the focus on making sure our units are safe. The requirement for gender separation is also taken into account for any refurbishment, or any service change.

Policies and training

In addition to our detailed policies and training, we have developed our own ‘safer room’ specification for all hospitals, with a view to ensuring as many fixtures and fittings as possible conform to an agreed reduced-ligature risk specification (for example, push button taps).

We have in place operational safety initiatives, some of which stem from regulatory requirements and some of which are generated internally, in line with our commitment to continuous improvement. We are always thinking about and looking for ways to enhance the safety of our patients and staff. For example, at the beginning of each month, we have a ‘safety first’ initiative, which focuses on a particular aspect of patient care, such as the safe use of hoists and slings.

Because of the hard work and commitment of all our staff teams, as of 31 March 2022, 80% of our Care Quality Commission (CQC)-registered healthcare sites were rated as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’, above the NHS England and independent benchmarking figure of 78%. We are proud of this achievement, which is a testament to our unrelenting focus on safety and quality.

Achieving positive outcomes, coupled with the experiences of our patients and staff, are at the heart of everything we do. This approach is also reflective of the national agenda for quality.

Priory has transitioned to align our incident management and response processes with the NHS England’s Patient Safety Incident Response Framework. Please refer to the following policy:

Compliments, comments and complaints

If you have comments or concerns, in the first instance please raise them directly with the site concerned. You can search for contact details using the following link:

Find a Priory location

Quality Account 2023-24

As the leading provider of behavioural care in the UK, Priory Healthcare continues to place its primary focus on delivering outstanding patient-centred care for the people we support.

Some of our quality achievements in 2023-24, as of 31 March 2024, include:

  • 83% of patients within our private services felt that the treatment and support they received had helped them in their recovery
  • 89% of patients within our acute mental health services showed an improvement in their overall mental wellbeing
  • 91% of patients within our addiction services showed an improvement in their overall mental wellbeing
  • 42 of our CQC–registered sites rated as ‘good’ or higher and 5 sites rated as ‘outstanding’ overall
  • 66 inspections across all of the UK
  • A reduction in the number of complaints referred to stage 2 and 3

Priory has worked tirelessly to maintain service delivery in safe environments for the people we support. We have a collective responsibility to each and every person who uses our services, and we strive to provide the best support, outcomes and experience to as many people as we can.

Please click here to read the full Priory Healthcare Quality Account 2023-24.

Safeguarding children and adults board report 2022

At Priory, we're always committed to creating the safest and most supportive services possible. A fundamental part of this is having the highest standards around our safeguarding practice, policy and training. The annual report for 2022 outlines what we have done, alongside our learnings and what we are doing to further enhance safeguarding.

Please click here to read the report.

Infection prevention and control annual report 2023-24

The infection prevention and control annual report provides you with the summary of Priory’s activities and actions to ensure we promote safe environments and apply appropriate measures to prevent the spread of infection. The report takes into account current legislation from all four UK countries and it can be shared with our commissioners and/or regulatory bodies if required.

Please click here to read the report.

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