‘Safewards’ launched to promote reduction in restrictive practices

Unit 1 of Dandenong Hospital’s Adult Psychiatric Inpatient Unit hosted a BBQ to launch ‘Safewards’, a model promoting the reduction of restrictive practices in mental health units.

Safewards aims to reduce conflict and containment within the acute ward environment. At the launch, stalls were set up for each intervention and manned by employees who introduced Safewards to consumers, staff and visitors present. This created an environment in which employees and patients worked in harmony to create a therapeutic and safe place for recovery.

As part of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Reducing Restrictive Interventions Project, funding has been allocated to support the implementation of strategies to reduce restrictive interventions.

Multiple health services identified Safewards as a strategy to address this practice change and so additional funding was allocated to services that elected to take part in a statewide trial. At Monash Health we have committed to a partnership with six other Health Services to implement the initiative.

Safewards is designed to:

• Increase safety
• Reduce coercion
• Build relationships between consumers and employees
• Divert time from containment to engagement

The Safewards model contains ten interventions:

• Clear, mutual expectations
• Bad news mitigation
• Soft words
• Reassurance
• Positive words
• Calm down methods
• Mutual help meeting
• Know each other
• Talk down
• Discharge messages

The launch has set a platform for further development and implementation of this initiative, including fortnightly education sessions held by employees to assist in making Safewards part of our daily practice. Everyone is welcome to join and it’s a safe space where employees work together to share ideas and innovative ways to enhance consumer experience.

Click here for more information.

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