New Quality Improvement (QI) collaborative launches to help reduce waiting lists for mental health services

Demand for NHS mental health and specialist services continue to grow, which has led to the need for Sheffield Health and Social Care (SHSC) to find new ways to help keep waiting times short for service users while also giving great care. 

At SHSC, the issue of long waiting lists has been a problem for both staff and service users, and complaints we receive related to “access to services” form the largest proportion of complaints we get.  

We also have problems with people who don’t attend their appointments in relation to mental health services, research evidence shows that service users do not attend approximately 20% of psychiatric appointments and of those who miss appointments, up to 50% do not complete treatment or fail to continue to engage with services. 

Getting people to attend appointments is crucial as missing appointments can negatively impact services users’ mental health and recovery, missed medication and non-attendance can result in service users stopping getting help from services and ending their care. 

Whilst the demand for mental health services keeps increasing and without more staff and increased budgets, we know that lots of people are worried about the physical and mental health of people who have mental health conditions, so our first quality improvement collaborative will look at this.   

Reducing waiting lists and supporting service users to “wait well” whilst on waiting lists will be a key area of focus.   

The teams involved in this are: 

  • Eating Disorders Service  
  • Gender Identity Clinic  
  • Neuro Enablement Service   
  • Personality / Complex Trauma Team  
  • Mood, Anxiety & PTSD Psychotherapy Service  
  • Memory Services  
  • Older Adult CMHT  
  • Community Learning Disability Team  
  • Sheffield Community Brain Injury Rehabilitation Team  
  • Sheffield Adult Autism Neurodevelopmental Service – ASD 

We plan to keep updating people on our progress over the next two years. If you would like more information on this project, email

Teams from SHSC attending the QI Collaborative meeting