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The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) unit at Priory Hospital Chelmsford has become the latest in a small handful of units across the UK and Europe to receive an international accreditation for quality.

The CAMHS unit has been accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatry’s Quality Network for Inpatient CAMHS (QNIC).

The aim of the QNIC’s accreditation process is to demonstrate and improve the quality of inpatient child and adolescent psychiatric inpatient care through a system of review against the QNIC service standards. By being accredited, it gives formal recognition of quality and demonstrates to commissioners, referrers, young people and carers that quality and safety standards have been met.

Paul Bentham, Priory Group's CAMHS Service Line Director said: “I am thrilled that the work of Priory Hospital Chelmsford’s CAMHS unit has been recognised. The team on the unit, led by Dr Ben Parker and manager, Sandra Taylor, have demonstrated a real commitment to achieve this accreditation."

The accreditation is viewed internationally as a quality mark on the care the unit provides. The process is rigorous, and by achieving this, it means that the service has provided evidence on the provision of quality care as well as assuring the service that the young people and their carers are confident in the facilities and care.

There were three stages to the accreditation process:

  1. Self review - the team reviewed all procedures and practices against standards set by QNIC. Feedback was also gathered from staff, young people, parents/carers and commissioners via questionnaires
  2. Accreditation visit by an external peer review team reviewed all the information gathered, met with the team and interviewed service users and parents
  3. Report submitted by QNIC team to the Special Committee for Professional Practice and Ethics who make the final decision on accreditation

The accreditation will be valid for three years, subject to continued evidence of compliance. There will also be a yearly review to ensure the unit is upholding standards.

Priory Hospital Chelmsford's CAMHS unit is now the second Priory unit to be accredited by QNIC with Priory Hospital Woodbourne’s Mullberry Unit receiving  accreditation two years ago.

Hospital Director of Priory Hospital Chelmsford, Lorraine Ahern, said: “Priory Hospital Chelmsford's adolescent unit is now the second Priory unit to be accredited by QNIC with Priory Hospital Woodbourne’s Mullberry Unit receiving accreditation two years ago. This is something that Priory Group is very proud of and which we are striving to achieve across our CAMHS units.”

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For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding mental health and wellbeing, please call 0330 056 6020 or click here to submit an enquiry form. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here

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