Nurses working towards a solution

At the Towards Elimination of Restrictive Practices conference in Perth 2017 I reported to the conference on a project the ACMHN and Flinders University had been funded to do through funding provided by the National Mental health Commission. Supporting mental health professionals towards cultural and clinical change: Facilitating ongoing reduction in seclusion and restraint in mental health settings in Australia.
Mental health nurses are predominantly responsible for ’making the decision to enact seclusion and restraint in emergency situations’ (NMHCCF, 2009 p2).
Ward/organizational culture and attitudes of staff are key factors influencing the use, reduction and ultimate elimination of seclusion and restraint (NMHCCF, 2009; NMHC, 2014)
In this presentation I will present the findings of the project and discuss barrier and enablers identified to support change. The presentation will also discuss practical next steps and the project we have commenced with funding through the National Mental Health Commission – Safe in Care, Safe at Work – which aims to develop a National Framework for ensuring safety in care and safety for staff in Australian Mental Health Services, and to develop and validate (through a pilot process) selfaudit
tool(s) for use across Australian mental health services, enabling periodic (annual) review of key focus areas.
Working together we can undertake and plan for real change towards, the elimination of restrictive practices.


TERP focuses on identifying, avoiding and reducing harm across all environments in which the care of people with mental ill health is provided. TERP inforces Australia’s commitment to reduce the use of, and eliminate restrictive practices as a priority for action. Each jurisdiction, in conjunction with the Safety and Quality Partnership Standing Committee and the Commonwealth Government, works towards this vision by holding a series of forums providing an opportunity to learn and grow from local and national initiatives to eliminate restrictive practices and create a dialogue for future care.

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