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Auditing electroconvulsive therapy

The third cycle

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 January 2018

Richard Duffet*
Affiliation:
Royal College of Psychiatrists' Research Unit, London
Paul Lelliott
Affiliation:
Royal College of Psychiatrists' Research Unit, London
*
Richard Duffett, Royal College of Psychiatrists' Research Unit, 11 Grosvenor Crescent. London SWIX 7EE

Abstract

Background

This is the third large-scale audit in the past 20 years and compares the practice of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in England and Wales with the standards derived from the Royal College of Psychiatrists' 2nd ECT handbook.

Method

Facilities, equipment, practice, personnel and training were systematically evaluated during visits to all ECT clinics in the former North East Thames and East Anglia regions and Wales. All other English ECT clinics were surveyed with a postal questionnaire. Information was obtained for 184 (84%) of the 220 ECT clinics identified.

Results

Although some aspects of ECT administration had improved since the last audit in 1991, overall only one-third of clinics were rated as meeting College standards. Only 16% of responsible consultants attended their ECT clinic weekly and only 6% had sessional time for ECT duties. Fifty-nine per cent of all clinics had machines of the type recommended by the College and 7% were still using machines considered outdated in 1989. Only about one-third of clinics had clear policies to help guide junior doctors to administer ECT effectively.

Conclusions

Twenty years of activity by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and three large-scale audits have been associated with only modest improvement in local practice.

Type
Papers
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 The Royal College of Psychiatrists 

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References

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