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Save money with violence prevention in line with new NICE guidance


29 May 2015

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NICE’s updated guidelines on the management of violent and aggressive behaviour in people with mental health problems could help save NHS money, it has been suggested.

Between 2013 and 2014 there were 68,683 reported assaults NHS staff in England, 69% of these occurred in mental health or learning disability settings.

NICE’s updated guidelines on the management of violent and aggressive behaviour in people with mental health problems could help save NHS money, it has been suggested.

Between 2013 and 2014 there were 68,683 reported assaults NHS staff in England, 69% of these occurred in mental health or learning disability settings.

This number includes incidents involving the families or carers of service users as well as service users themselves.

“What became abundantly clear during the discussions of the guideline development group was that violence prevented is NHS money saved,” said Professor Peter Tyrer, chair of the group that developed the NICE guideline.

“We have many programmes in the country that concentrate on dealing with actual violence but not enough on preventing and de-escalating violence when it is beginning to emerge. Greater understanding of the suffering that leads to violence is an essential part of management,” he said.

The guideline focuses on how to assess risk and prevent violence, how to recognise warning signs, calm potentially violent patients and manage difficult situations (de-escalation), as well as how to intervene safely when violence happens.

Professor Tim Kendall, director of the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health and facilitator of the group that developed the guideline, said: “We are recommending that every trust has a restrictive interventions reduction programme.”

Dr Peter Staves, service user, informatician and healthcare scientist, Public Health England, and member of the group that developed the guideline, said:“Patient recovery rate and service user experience and wellbeing are directly affected by the management of challenging behaviour.

“This updated guidance has many suggestions on how to engage with the patient, even when the use of restraint or rapid tranquilisation is required, that if adopted with global aims of compassion, caring and positive enthusiasm can make mental health services more tolerant environments in which to be a patient, carer or NHS employee,” he said.

View the updated guidance here

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