National accreditation for specialist mental health service


A specialist mental health treatment unit in Wakefield, run by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, has been recognised by the Royal College of Psychiatrists for its continuing good work.

The Briarfields unit, which provides specialist treatment including electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for people with severe mental health problems in Wakefield, Barnsley and Dewsbury, has been accredited for the eighth year in a row by the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ ECT Accreditation Service (ECTAS).

Clare Charles, senior clinical practitioner at Briarfields, said: “ECT is used to treat moderate – severe depression, catatonia and prolonged or severe mania.

“The treatment can achieve rapid improvement in a patient’s symptoms when other options have proven ineffective and can actually save lives.”

The ECTAS is run by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and sets out to assure and improve the administration of ECT across the country. As well as providing a quality assured service for people who need to use it, becoming accredited by ECTAS also allows the achievements of staff to be recognised and for services to receive detailed advice and support to improve.

Clare continued: “Receiving the accreditation shows that we continue to be a safe and effective team.

“Patients will know that the service they receive is following the guidance set by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the care they receive is of a high standard.

“We are always pleased to receive the accreditation when we get it – the criteria changes every year so to continually meet it is great.”

A benefit of the accreditation is it allows access to ECTAS discussion group which offers a wealth of experience and knowledge from a range of professionals, with whom we can share thoughts and ideas about improving on practice and service.

A recent survey of service users found that 94% felt that they had benefited from the treatment. A patient contributing to the ECTAS review stated that: “It was all very professional and well organised.” A relative also commented: “We were treated with respect from going into the clinic to coming out.  The staff are very caring.”

The team is looking ahead to meet the requirements for the next ECTAS review which is in 3 years’ time.

South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provides community, mental health and learning disability services to people in Barnsley, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield. The Trust also provides some medium secure (forensic) services to the whole of Yorkshire and the Humber.


National accreditation for specialist mental health service

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