risk assessment and management of suicide and self-harm within a forensic learning disability setting
Janice Phillips Ward manager, Barnet, Enfield and Haringey NHS Trust, Forensic Learning Disability Service, Hadley Lodge, Chase Farm Hospital, Middlesex
Janice Phillips reviewed the effectiveness of the risk management systems in an acute forensic admissions ward. Ironically, what she found was that the use of special nursing observations – as well as being costly – did more harm than good
Risk assessment and risk management have been on the government’s agenda since the beginning of the 1990s in its attempt to promote quality and safety in the NHS (Walmsley 1999). However, much more recently, the emphasis has been on measuring whether this is being achieved (Department of Health (DoH) 1998, 2001). The publication of The New NHS: Modern and Dependable (DoH 1998) has placed an obligation on all NHS organisations to have clinical risk programmes in place, so as to improve the quality of patient care, enhance service safety and reduce wasteful expenditure (Bowden 1996). The need is now greater than ever before because of changes in financial responsibility, the removal of Crown Immunity (which means hospitals are now subject to external inspection) and the changing public view of services (Roy 1996, Wilson 1997).
Learning Disability Practice.
7, 2, 12-18.
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