Developing a patient leave request form for a secure setting
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Developing a patient leave request form for a secure setting

Yasir Kasmi Consultant forensic psychiatrist, Partnerships in Care in Atherton, Greater Manchester
Dawn Brennan Head of patient safety and security for Partnerships, Care in the North West and the Midlands

Yasir Kasmi and Dawn Brennan describe how the number of escapes and absconds from a unit was reduced to zero following a review of the documentation involved and staff training

After incidents of absconding and escape from a medium-secure hospital a review was undertaken. As a result the patient leave request form was designed to improve the risk management process of granting, assessing, recording and executing Section 17 of the Mental Health Act for clients detained in the unit. The design and training for the use of the form in the unit are described.

Since its introduction four years ago, there have been no successful escapes or absconds. Greater awareness of security through staff training has also been achieved. Escapes and absconds have a negative effect on the functioning of a unit; the routine use of the patient leave form as a risk management tool has improved client and staff safety and security, and it may promote the process of rehabilitation.

Mental Health Practice. 18, 5, 30-35. doi: 10.7748/mhp.18.5.30.e907


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 27 June 2013

Accepted: 21 January 2014

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