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National prize for safety initiative

​An initiative spearheaded by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) to make sure service users receive safe care has become one of just two projects from across the country to receive a prized national award.

The West Suffolk Locality DICES® Clinic has been presented with the APT-DICES® Award for Excellence in Risk Assessment and Management by the Association of Psychological Therapies (APT). DICES® is a tool used for risk assessment and management in mental health, and helps staff to plan safe care for more challenging cases.

NSFT’s west Suffolk clinic has been developed to give a multi-disciplinary team of clinicians the chance to discuss cases which are causing them concern before completing a risk management plan.

Staff from a variety of different teams, including the adult inpatient ward at Wedgwood House in Bury St Edmunds, the Psychiatric Liaison Team and adult Integrated Delivery Team, all attend the fortnightly clinics. They discuss one case per session, which means they have sufficient time to develop a comprehensive risk management plan which is uploaded on the Trust’s computer system for everyone involved in the service user’s care to view.

The west Suffolk clinic was one of only two initiatives from across the country to be presented with the accolade, with judges commending the project for encouraging clinicians to share decisions about difficult cases.

Mental Health Nurse Matt Wilding, who runs the clinic alongside Assistance Psychologist Sheryl Parke, said: “We were really pleased to receive recognition for this work, which helps colleagues document risky cases while also gaining alternate views on how best to manage risk.

“The clinic has been really well received since we launched it 18 months ago, with clinicians appreciating the chance to share responsibility for managing risk and gain objective views on their case.

“As a result of this success, we are now hoping to refine and expand the clinic so that we can encourage even more clinicians to attend and share their knowledge and opinions about the best possible way to risk manage each individual case.”

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