South West London and St. George's Mental Health Trust

Health written question – answered on 7th July 2005.

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Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Shadow Minister (Children)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) how many staff have been killed by residents of in-patient wards in South West London and St. George's Mental Health Trust in each of the last 10 years;

(2) what steps are being taken to ensure the safety of staff working in psychiatric hospitals in South West London and St. George's Mental Health Trust;

(3) which categories of staff within the South West London and St. George's Mental Health Trust have access to risk assessments of mental health in-patients.

Photo of Jane Kennedy Jane Kennedy Minister of State, Department of Health

The South West London Strategic Health Authority has reported that one member of staff was killed by an in-patient of the trust in 2003. The trust has a number of measures in place to protect its staff, which include:

Reports of all incidents of violence to staff to the national health service security management service and active pursuit of prosecution. It has secured five convictions to date.

Staff are supported by a police liaison officer, an ex-policeman, who ensures prompt police response to trust concerns.

A zero tolerance policy for drugs and alcohol, as these are elements that contribute to violence and aggression.

Regular drug dog searches are conducted on all trust sites, in conjunction with Wandsworth Prison.

Risk assessments are conducted on all patients.

All staff have risk assessment training.

All working areas have completed lone working assessments and have action plans in place to reduce the risk of working alone, both on trust sites and in the community.

There is a programme of new build to ensure that the buildings are fit for purpose and are safe for both patients and staff.

A leadership and development programme is under way for all ward managers, which includes improving the therapeutic environment of the wards; a poor therapeutic environment contributes to violence.

The trust took part in the Healthcare Commission national audit of violence and is implementing learning points from this work.

Robust inquiries are conducted into all serious incidents. Learning points are identified and where necessary support is given to particular wards where there may be patients with challenging behaviour.

Risk assessments are shared with members of the multidisciplinary team who directly care for the patient. They may also be shared on a need-to-know basis with other agencies, such as social care, the police and other trusts, following NHS information governance principles. In certain circumstances, risk assessments will also be shared with the patient's carers.

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Posted on 12 Jul 2005 9:53 am (Report this annotation)

I would like to ask the questions...How many inpatients have died whilst in the care of South West London and St Georges Trust?..... have any staff ever been convicted of violence towards a patient?... Do patients have a liaison officer too?