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Editorial

Editorial n 1997 the newly elected Labour forum for developing ideas about how to improve the government had high aspirations for the NHS. In the system. Staff involvement … has been found to have a prime minister’s words: ‘The NHS will get better significant positive impact on team working and to every year so that it once again delivers dependable, engender a real sense of contributing to a workable high quality care’ (Department of Health, 1997). One solution.’ It seems obvious when spelt out like this of the drivers of this sought-after incremental that engagement of frontline staff in improving their improvement in quality was to be clinical governance, own work practices would be an effective means of described in the White Paper The New NHS: Modern, achieving change. Dependable as ‘a new system in NHS Trusts and As I am writing this editorial the Social Exclusion primary care to ensure that clinical standards are met Unit’s report Mental Health and Social Exclusion has just and that processes are in place to ensure continuous been published. This seeks to address the full range of improvement’ (Department of Health, 1997). The issues affecting people with mental health problems subsequent development of the CHI clinical that prevent them participating fully in society. The governance programme in mental health services, report addresses stigma and discrimination and areas described in the Framework Feature by Dominic Ford such as employment, housing, transport, parenting etc, and Dawn Wakeling, brings together and builds on which so directly affect mental health. It presents an elements of clinical governance already in existence to opportunity for mental health services to actually form a comprehensive review system. deliver what services users and their carers say that One aspect of clinical audit (itself part of clinical they want. governance) is the requirement, introduced in 1994, to ‘Change needs to happen from the bottom up but hold an independent inquiry in the event of a the right conditions need to be created,’ says Steve mentally ill person committing homicide Onyett in the second inaugural lecture we have (HSC(94)27). Ten years later there has been much published. Those conditions include valuing, listening criticism of some homicide inquiries on the grounds of to, and involving the staff directly responsible for expense, the length of time taken to report and the delivering services and service users and their carers negative effect on staff morale. The recommendations who clearly articulate what they need from mental of the inquiries tend to echo each other and there is health services. This is the crucial evidence-based little evidence to show that the ‘lessons to be learnt’ ‘lesson to be learnt’ by those who wish to bring about do in fact result in changes in practice. effective change in mental health services. In order to address these problems a technique Elizabeth Parker known as root cause analysis (RCA) is being introduced by the National Patient Safety Agency. RCA brings a more prescriptive and systematic References approach to homicide inquiries but the major innovation is that the staff concerned in the incident Department of Health (1997) The New NHS: Modern, are to be closely involved in the inquiry process. As Dependable. Cm. 8037. London: The Stationery Office. Suzette Woodward, Mike Rejman and Kathryn Hill Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (2004) Mental state: ‘Ideally an RCA team will include all the staff Health and Social Exclusion. London: ODPM. involved in the incident who … should consider the incident together… This … can … prove a valuable 2 The Mental Health Review Volume 9 Issue 3 September 2004 © Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) 2004 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Mental Health Review Journal Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1361-9322
DOI
10.1108/13619322200400022
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

n 1997 the newly elected Labour forum for developing ideas about how to improve the government had high aspirations for the NHS. In the system. Staff involvement … has been found to have a prime minister’s words: ‘The NHS will get better significant positive impact on team working and to every year so that it once again delivers dependable, engender a real sense of contributing to a workable high quality care’ (Department of Health, 1997). One solution.’ It seems obvious when spelt out like this of the drivers of this sought-after incremental that engagement of frontline staff in improving their improvement in quality was to be clinical governance, own work practices would be an effective means of described in the White Paper The New NHS: Modern, achieving change. Dependable as ‘a new system in NHS Trusts and As I am writing this editorial the Social Exclusion primary care to ensure that clinical standards are met Unit’s report Mental Health and Social Exclusion has just and that processes are in place to ensure continuous been published. This seeks to address the full range of improvement’ (Department of Health, 1997). The issues affecting people with mental health problems subsequent development of the CHI clinical that prevent them participating fully in society. The governance programme in mental health services, report addresses stigma and discrimination and areas described in the Framework Feature by Dominic Ford such as employment, housing, transport, parenting etc, and Dawn Wakeling, brings together and builds on which so directly affect mental health. It presents an elements of clinical governance already in existence to opportunity for mental health services to actually form a comprehensive review system. deliver what services users and their carers say that One aspect of clinical audit (itself part of clinical they want. governance) is the requirement, introduced in 1994, to ‘Change needs to happen from the bottom up but hold an independent inquiry in the event of a the right conditions need to be created,’ says Steve mentally ill person committing homicide Onyett in the second inaugural lecture we have (HSC(94)27). Ten years later there has been much published. Those conditions include valuing, listening criticism of some homicide inquiries on the grounds of to, and involving the staff directly responsible for expense, the length of time taken to report and the delivering services and service users and their carers negative effect on staff morale. The recommendations who clearly articulate what they need from mental of the inquiries tend to echo each other and there is health services. This is the crucial evidence-based little evidence to show that the ‘lessons to be learnt’ ‘lesson to be learnt’ by those who wish to bring about do in fact result in changes in practice. effective change in mental health services. In order to address these problems a technique Elizabeth Parker known as root cause analysis (RCA) is being introduced by the National Patient Safety Agency. RCA brings a more prescriptive and systematic References approach to homicide inquiries but the major innovation is that the staff concerned in the incident Department of Health (1997) The New NHS: Modern, are to be closely involved in the inquiry process. As Dependable. Cm. 8037. London: The Stationery Office. Suzette Woodward, Mike Rejman and Kathryn Hill Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (2004) Mental state: ‘Ideally an RCA team will include all the staff Health and Social Exclusion. London: ODPM. involved in the incident who … should consider the incident together… This … can … prove a valuable 2 The Mental Health Review Volume 9 Issue 3 September 2004 © Pavilion Publishing (Brighton) 2004

Journal

Mental Health Review JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 1, 2004

There are no references for this article.