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Ipswich: New care model at mental health unit aims to reduce aggression and interventions

11:18 17 April 2014

Woodlands unit

Woodlands unit


An Ipswich mental health unit has adopted a new care model aimed at encouraging staff and patients to work together to reduce problems such as aggression and self harm.


Woodlands, which is based in the grounds of Ipswich Hospital, has become the first Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust unit to take on the Safewards model.

As well as aiming to reduce aggression, it also aims to reduce interventions.

Acting modern matron at Woodlands, Tara Brown, said: “Our use of Safewards followed a review of incidents of restraint. We looked at the evidence for practice used in other areas and learnt how Safewards had been adopted by other trusts across the country.

“We were, therefore, very pleased to receive support from Geoff Brennan, nurse tutor at the Institute of Psychiatry, who visited us in February and facilitated sessions with staff from across the inpatient wards.

“He provided information about the research behind Safewards and enabled staff to explore the 10 interventions used within the model.

“Since then, we have identified champions who are promoting Safewards and supporting teams and each other in using the interventions. Work is under way to raise the profile of Safewards and to implement some of the interventions as part of practice.”

The model is based on research by professor of psychiatric nursing, Len Bowers, and it has been hailed in a recent Department of Health paper, which stated it ‘demonstrated significant effectiveness in achieving reductions in incidents of conflict and the use of physical restraint’.

Ms Brown added: “Staff awareness and understanding is increasing and further in-house training is planned. There has been a strong and positive acceptance of this model and it has fuelled enthusiasm for therapeutic practices which have a strong evidence base.”


1 comment

  • I cannot see the modern matron's comments winning any awards for plain English. Treating people with dignity and respect covers 99% of it.

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    Thursday, April 17, 2014

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