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NELFT Quality Improvement Services News

Prescribing Observatory for Mental Health (POMH) Quality Improvement Programme (QIP) Topic 21 a – The Use of Melatonin national audit

The Prescribing Observatory for Mental Health (POMH-UK) is a subscription-based project that helps specialist mental health services across the UK improve their prescribing practice.  The aim of the audit is to assess the quality of care provided for patients prescribed Melatonin against standards derived from national evidence-based practice guidelines, including NICE.  Eligibility criteria is patients of any age who are currently prescribed melatonin and are under the care of CAMHS, community paediatrics or learning disability services.

Audit Standards are:

  1. Evidence-based non-pharmacological interventions should be tried before melatonin is prescribed.
  2. The target symptoms for melatonin treatment should be documented (e.g. sleep onset, sleep duration, sleep quality).
  3. A licensed melatonin preparation should be prescribed where possible.
  4. Where an unlicensed melatonin preparation is prescribed, an explanation should be given to the patient and/or parent and/or guardian and/or carer, as appropriate.
  5. The efficacy and safety/tolerability of melatonin medication should be reviewed within 3 months of starting.
  6. The need for continuing melatonin treatment should be reviewed annually, based on efficacy and side effects.

Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services and Community Learning Disability Services across NELFT have submitted a total of 91 cases with help and support from the Quality Improvement Services’ Clinical Audit and NICE Team.  Data collection and entry period was 1st June to 5th August 2022.  Report is due for publication in December 2022.  Once NELFT specific findings are published, there will be an opportunity for participating teams and services to implement SMARTER actions for service improvement