To investigate implementation of National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines in mental health, focusing on the schizophrenia guideline. Data analyses centred on implementation of the guideline, as well as looking at a set of markers mapped to the NICE principles of implementation and other identified clinical prerequisites. A self-report questionnaire tool was sent to senior executives at mental health trusts containing questions linked to the markers of implementation and clinical prerequisites; responses were analysed with data from the Healthcare Commission audit of implementation of the guideline to show key relationships.
Information from both data-sets (senior executive data collection and the audit) showed that implementation is patchy, with pockets of good implementation. Findings indicate that higher levels of implementation are linked to corporate commitment and leadership, as well as support from commissioners.
Implementation might be improved by corporate commitment and leadership and better support from commissioners.