On the Line welcomes the NSW Government’s independent report of the Review of seclusion, restraint and observation of consumers with a mental illness in NSW Health facilities.
The review was commissioned to review the current practices and make recommendations to reduce the use of seclusion and restraint in NSW.
The review team, led by the state’s Chief Psychiatrist, Dr Murray Wright, and a panel of five mental health experts, recognised that providing mental health care in acute inpatient units and emergency departments required teamwork, leadership, education and first-class facilities.
The review has made 19 recommendations to help prevent the use of seclusion and restraint in NSW acute mental health units and declared emergency departments. Of those, seven are recommended for implementation within the next six months. These are:
- All mental health inpatient services must have 24-hour, everyday on-site supervision from accountable management representatives. This supervision must include in-person rounding on every shift.
- There should be an immediate reinvigoration of the implementation of the NSW Health Smoke-free Health Care Policy, which includes increasing the knowledge and use of nicotine replacement therapy.
- Consumer and carer co-design and systematic engagement should occur at all levels of the health service.
- The NSW seclusion and restraint data collection and reporting should include declared emergency departments.
- All emergency departments should have clinical pathways for people presenting with mental health issues that are reflective of their needs. There needs to be a pathway that does not include the use of safe assessment rooms.
- There should be an immediate review of the design and use of safe assessment rooms, using a co-design methodology.
- All acute mental health units and declared emergency departments should conduct a review of their facilities and implement minor capital works and equipment purchases to improve the therapeutic potential.
Minister for Health Brad Hazzard and Minister for Mental Health Tanya Davies confirmed this week that all 19 recommendations have been accepted.
Visit the NSW Government Health website to read the full report.
If you need someone to talk to, reach out to one of our counselling services: