RPH recognised that there were significant gaps in how the risk of patient aggression was communicated to staff, in particular those with limited or no access to patient documentation, electronic patient information systems or verbal handover.
The RPH Aggression Prevention and Intervention and Research portfolios undertook a study into systems that alert staff to the risk of patient aggression. This study was supported by grants from the RPH ‘Foundation for Nursing Research’ and ‘Nursing Fellowship’.
One of the recommendations from the study was to introduce signage that would visually alert both clinical and non-clinical staff to the risk of aggression.
A recent survey has been undertaken to audit the visual alerts against the SOP and a further survey is planned to assess the effect of the alerts on the original identified staff groups.
In the interim, the feedback from staff has been very positive in enabling them to identify risk, ask for a verbal handover of the behaviour of concern and any triggers / relievers and precautions required.