University of Limerick
Doody_2021_Mental.pdf (555.9 kB)

Mental health nurses experience of the introduction and practice of the safewards model: a qualitative descriptive study

Download (555.9 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2021-03-16, 09:20 authored by Heather Lee, Owen DoodyOwen Doody, THERESE HENNESSYTHERESE HENNESSY
Background: A lack of safety experienced by patients and staff in acute psychiatric units is a major concern and containment methods used to manage conflict have the potential to cause harm and upset to both staff and patients. To ensure safety for all, it is highly desirable to reduce levels of conflict and containment and the Safewards model is an evidence-based model aimed at reducing conflict and containment rates by improving nurse-patient relationships and safety. Methods: The aim of this study was to explore mental health nurses’ experience of the introduction and practice of three Safewards interventions; reassurance, soft words and discharge messages. A qualitative descriptive research design utilising a purposive sample (n = 21) of registered psychiatric nurses (n = 16) and managers (n = 5) in an acute psychiatric unit in Ireland. Following a 12-week implementation of Safewards, three focus groups were conducted, two with nursing staff and one with nurse managers. Data were analysed using Braun and Clarke thematic analysis framework which supported the identification of four themes: introducing Safewards, challenges of Safewards, impact of Safewards and working towards success. Results: The findings indicate that the process of implementation was inadequate in the training and education of staff, and that poor support from management led to poor staff adherence and acceptance of the Safewards interventions. The reported impact of Safewards on nursing practice and patient experience were mixed. Overall, engagement and implementation under the right conditions are essential for success and while some participants perceived that the interventions already existed in practice, participants agreed Safewards enhanced their communication skills and relationships with patients. Conclusion: The implementation of Safewards requires effective leadership and support from management, mandatory training for all staff, and the involvement of staff and patients during implementation. Future research should focus on the training and education required for successful implementation of Safewards and explore the impact of Safewards on nursing practice and patient experience.



BMC Nursing;20, 41







Usage metrics

    University of Limerick


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager