A Devizes based mental health clinic offering electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is celebrating achieving an excellent rating following an audit by the ECT Accreditation Service (ECTAS).

The clinic in Green Lane Hospital, run by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP), carries out approximately 600 ECT treatments each year.

During ECT an electric current is passed briefly through the brain, which causes a seizure. It is given under general anaesthetic and patients are also given drugs to relax their muscles. The treatment is used for a small number of severe mental health disorders, such as severe depression, mania and catatonia.

The ECT Accreditation Service assesses ECT units across the country to assure service users, staff, commissioners and regulators of the quality of the treatments being provided. The audits look at a unit’s facilities, staffing and training provisions, policies and procedures, and patient satisfaction.

“This is a great achievement for the clinic,” said a spokesman for the ECT clinic. “The assessment covers a stiff set of standards against which the ECT unit is measured, so we did very well to receive an excellent rating.”

“The first time we were assessed was six years ago when we were given a pass. But in 2009 we received an excellent rating and we achieved this again in April. Reaching this level is one thing, but being able to maintain it is another. We are only a small team and this demonstrates the level of commitment and dedication shown by our staff.”

The ECT Accreditation Service is an initiative run by the Royal College of Psychiatrist’s College Centre for Quality Improvement. The audits usually take place every three years and involve three phases, starting with a self-review assessment, followed by peer review, and finalising with the accreditation decision. When a unit achieves excellent status the reviews are annual and do not involve the peer review phase.

“We will now be assessed yearly so that we can carry on maintaining our high standard,” added the spokesman.