What is Safewards?

Safewards is a series of methods and approaches used in mental health trusts across the NHS. These evidence-based interventions have been proven to reduce instances of conflict and containment and make wards safer places for service users, their carers/supporters, and staff.

Safe wards logo

Session 9:

Session 9 primarily focussed on ensuring a solid foundation is established so we can be certain that all the fantastic work our teams have produced across each of the ten key Safewards interventions continues on our wards, even after the collaborative’s official end date.

The next part of the session focussed on the promotion and communication of Safewards. 

How NSFT is implementing Safewards?

As part of our improvement plans for 2023, we want to implement and embed the Safewards model across our Trust. We have been running a six-month supporting programme to help our colleagues embed these methods and approaches across each of their wards. 

In addition to bespoke support provided by the Safewards project team, each month, representatives from all of our wards are also invited to attend a monthly in-person event, to learn more about the Safewards model as well as share learning with each other and work together to overcome challenges.

For more information please contact Sophie Bagge: sophie.bagge@nsft.nhs.uk or 07785693984.

Below we highlight some of the key points from our meetings so far:

Session 1

This event was presented and facilitated by a broad range of staff of differing experience and backgrounds as well by individuals with lived experience to ensure all perspectives and personal experiences were considered.    Group shot of staff seated taking part in the Safe wards initiative 

Some of the main topics covered were: 

  • Why re-introducing Safewards at NSFT is important
  • An overview of the structure of the collaborative
  • The Safewards Model and the evidence base
  • An overview of the ten key Safewards interventions
  • Bespoke idea generation to re-establish and embed the interventions onto the wards
  • Understanding how we will be using QI in this collaborative
  • How to record and measure change idea implementation using QI methodology
  • Next steps and expectations for each ward

Session 2

The importance of working in collaboration with service users, their families and carers in the process of embedding the ten key Safewards interventions onto our wards was a primary focus of our second in-person Safewards session on Wednesday on 21 September 2023. Team sat at table completing activity 

Some of the main topics covered were:

  • The positive impact Safewards can have on people with lived experience
  • Presentations from five wards sharing their progress so far
  • The different facilitators and barriers faced so far when attempting to implement Safewards on our wards
  • Idea generation on how to overcome some of the barriers
  • How to use the LifeQI platform to record our change ideas
  • The different methods of measuring our improvement efforts (e.g. photos, guidance packs, physical items, documented experiences, posters etc.)
  • The Safewards Challenge – working together to give your Safewards intervention the best hope of success (otherwise known as: protect your chocolate egg from breaking!)
  • Conclusions, next steps and expectations for each ward

Session 3:

This sessions primary focus was to make sure that our teams understood the importance of Safewards, by getting each attendee at the session to consider the treatment they'd want/expect for a loved one recieving care at one of our wards and how the Safewards standards would support these standards being met. 

Some of the main topics covered included: 

  • Reflecting on session two
  • Hearing a powerful poem written by one of our service users
  • Considering our expecations if we had a loved one receiving care and how Safewards would support this
  • Presentations from wards sharing their progress
  • Embedding trauma informed care into Safewards
  • Conclusions and next steps

Session 4:

 Full room of people watching presentation As NSFT’s trust-wide Safewards Collaborative has progressed, the Safewards project team has been developing the agenda for each of the monthly sessions by reflecting on the feedback and requests given by the attendees at the previous session.

The most recent feedback provided to the team stated a common obstacle was “getting the rest on the ward engaged with Safewards” and so, Session 4 of the Collaborative, focused on how to lead and motivate others.

Topics for session 4 included: 

  • Getting others on board with change
  • Extending the collaborative
  • Reviewing evidence so far

Session 5:

 Room full of people taking part in activity at tablesBeing the last in-person session of 2023, it was the perfect opportunity to pause and reflect on what has been achieved by each of our participating wards so far. As such, in addition to the next cohort of wards sharing their progress since starting the Collaborative, a large portion of this session was dedicated to giving our wards the chance to share some of the qualitative evidence (posters, photos, artwork, surveys, stories, etc.) that they have gathered so far.

Topics of the session included: 

  • Reflecting on the journey so far
  • What more can be done to embed the ten key interventions
  • What the future of the Safewards collaborative looks like

Session 6:

 People in discussion on tables As we have come to expect from our attendees, the discussion and idea generation during the session was truly excellent, and the passion and desire to always do what is best for those under our care was evident throughout.

This session included:

  • A review of the collaborative roadmap
  • How to increase service user engagement
  • Some of the benefits experts by experience have experienced since joining the collaborative
  • Recap of the essential tools used across QI projects
  • How to increase colleague engagement

Session 7:

Session 7 of the Safewards Collaborative took place on 7 March, and primarily focussed on what we can learn from each other in regard to the different ways of embedding the ten key Safewards interventions on our wards.  Room full of people 

The session began by getting the attendees to take a closer look at two of the interventions that are more difficult to tangibly evidence bad news mitigation and reassurance.

Topics of the session included:

  • Wards shared their progress
  • Knowledge and idea sharing 

Session 8:

Since the initiation of the Safewards Collaborative at NSFT in August of last year, the core Safewards team have endeavoured to tailor each of the in-person sessions based on the feedback provided by the attendees.

Two areas of difficulty that are frequently raised within this feedback are:

  1. Promoting awareness of what Safewards is on our wards
  2. Finding the time to implement changes relating to Safewards

As such, Session 8 of the Safewards Collaborative, focused on these two topic.

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