The Care Services Improvement Partnership is developing a compendium of outcomes measures tools to improve the quality of mental health care and establish best practice.

A range of good outcomes measures tools exist to help us collect information in a structured and evidence-based way. These tools contain a set of questions - the same questions are answered at agreed points in a person's care over time in order to track changes. People coming into hospital on admission may be asked them, for example, or at case review and discharge.

Compendium of outcomes tools

There are a growing number of tools available. Different tools cover different aspects of outcomes and some are designed for a specific age group or service area. As part of our work, the Care Services Improvement Partnership will develop a compendium of outcomes tools suitable for use in mental health services. This work is being directed by the outcomes practice group. The group is made up of experts and practitioners who have in-depth knowledge of the range of tools and their application on the ground.

This compendium will provide guidance about what tools are available, and their use in measuring outcomes in mental health services. It is intended to help services implement outcome measures to improve the quality of care and establish good practice. The practice group will work in partnership with service users and carers to identify the most acceptable and useful tools.

The compendium will provide a synthesis of existing evidence about the tools and their implementation. It will include advice on appropriate service use, standards, audits and emerging protocols for implementation. It will also include details of which services are using what instruments, including case studies and testimonies. Information about the copyright status and authorship will also be provided.

Active involvement encouraged

We intend this to be a fluid resource which will need to be updated at intervals as new practice and evidence emerges. The first edition of the compendium will be available for field trials in the next six months. We are encouraging services to be actively involved with its development. Services can contribute by nominating representatives to sit on the practice group, submitting tools and analysis or participating in field-testing.

For further information contact Albert Persaud, senior policy adviser, CSIP and Department of Health, at albert.persaud@dh.gsi.gov.uk, or Margaret Oates, CSIP outcomes measures project manager, at margaret.oates@csip.org.uk

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