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Island’s Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) service awarded full accreditation

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Island’s Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) service awarded full accreditation
27 May 2021

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust is pleased to announce it has been awarded full accreditation by the ECT Accreditation Service (ECTAS) of the Royal College of Psychiatrists for its Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) services. A service that provides effective treatment for those with severe mental illness.

Alongside this accreditation, the ECT team received a commendation in three out of four possible areas, including ‘patient experience’, ‘monitoring’ and ‘documentation’; this renewed accreditation covers a period of three years.

 The ECT team, based at Sevenacres, St. Mary’s Hospital, continued to work towards achieving this accreditation throughout the pandemic period, despite several teams being deployed to support different parts of the acute care team.

 Dr Oliver Cramer, Divisional Clinical Director Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Interim Clinical Director Critical Care and Anaesthetics, said:

 “This accreditation with commendation is an accolade to the team’s day-to-day dedication to provide the best possible outcomes for the people who use our mental health services. 

 “Around three quarters of people who are prescribed ECT treatment, report an improvement in their symptoms.

 “This achievement is a testament to the team’s commitment and passion to administer this treatment in a safe and supportive way, ensuring that their patients receive person-centred care.”

 Lead ECT Nurse and an active member of The National Association of Lead Nurses in ECT (NALNECT), Mandy Tate added:

 “I am thrilled to be part of a team whose focus is on patient experience and continually improving quality of care.

 “Throughout the pandemic, following an initial brief pause, we have continued to deliver the service. Last year, we also  upgraded  the ECT clinic at Sevenacres into a highly functional unit, where we could deliver ECT treatment in a well-designed environment, for the best possible patient experience.

 “This is a truly proud moment and we will continue to strive towards providing ECT treatment in a compassionate and empathetic way, ensuring we listen to the views and needs of both patients and their families or carers.”

 This accreditation shows that the treatment option is well regulated and provides a reassuring safeguard for people who receive ECT.

 Lead Consultant Psychiatrist, Dr Richard Braithwaite, recently co-wrote a paper with fellow consultants Robert Chaplin and Vimal Sivasanker on ‘Effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on provision of electroconvulsive therapy’, published in the BJPsych Bulletin.

 Dr Richard Braithwaite said:

 “ECT is an effective treatment for those with severe mental illness that does not respond to other treatments or requires rapid improvement. We provide ECT for these patients as a course of treatment given twice a week, typically for a period of three to seven weeks.

 “We currently have training in place to ensure our junior doctors undertake a practical and theoretical induction as they support patients receiving treatment. All treatments are delivered or supervised in person by a consultant psychiatrist.

 “We are one of 109 ECT teams across the UK and Republic of Ireland to have been awarded this accreditation. Our commendations for ‘patient experience’, ‘documentation’ and ‘monitoring’ are testament to the team’s focus on delivering quality ECT. We shall strive towards achieving the fourth domain of ‘continued training’ as part of our further pursuit of excellence.”

 ECT is prescribed for patients who suffer from severe depressive illness and, less commonly, other serious mental disorders. The treatment, given under general anaesthesia, uses an electrical current that passes through the brain to induce a controlled seizure. It is extremely safe. Like many medical treatments, its mechanism of action is not fully understood, but there is a strong evidence base for its use, from **multiple double-blind randomised controlled trials.

Notes and Links:

More information about ECTAS and ECT Treatment on the NHS website.

Link to the ‘The Effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the provision of electro-convulsive therapy’, published in the BJPsych Bulletin for Cambridge University Press.

**UK ECT Review Group. Efficacy and safety of electroconvulsive therapy in depressive disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet. 2003 Mar 8;361(9360):799-808.

Names of the team shown in the image above: 

Dr Richard Braithwaite

Dr Oliver Cramer

Dr Fiona Henderson

Mandy Tate

Sophie Marshall

Rachel Dempsey

Lisa Hall

Scott Sims

(Missing from photo include: Andy Tate, Josie Varela, Clayton Pope, Dominic Spillane)


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