Award Recipient: De-escalation – A Tool to Calm 

Acute Mental Health Units are an identified high-risk environment for aggression related to patient symptoms of mental illness and associated behaviour. The exact frequency of aggression was unknown, until now. The data collected was cause for grave concern for both patient care and staff wellbeing. The skills required to manage this effectively are wide and varied. Gap analysis identified no consistent method or framework for de-escalation.

De-escalation fell to experienced staff to the detriment of the learning of inexperienced staff. Restraint and Seclusion rates were high compared to other benchmarked units in NSW. No training was available that provided adequate training in de-escalation. A model was developed and training plan implemented to provide the skills required to effectively manage this aggression. The model and training delivered far more than was anticipated.

Renal Supportive Care (RSC) – Chronic Disease Lived Better

Renal Supportive Care was implemented to supplement the ongoing care and burden of people living with end stage kidney disease. Integration of palliative care with nephrology services aims to improve patient experience, support the management of symptom burden and exacerbation through patient-identified goals and challenges.

A team-based clinic, with the patient at the centre of the discussion and care planning, has enabled improved management of the patient from a personal perspective, as well as from a team-based care planning and management approach. Patients have reported a decrease in symptom burden physically and psychologically, the team feels increased support to help the patients manage what is important to them and a clear integration between services has occurred for better patient outcomes.

Trauma Informed Approach: Recognise the Past, Understand the Present, Change the Future

Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) is transforming patient experience of care through organisational cultural change, implementing a whole of health workforce training strategy in Trauma Informed Approaches (TIA). The first-of-its-kind training package empowers all managers and staff to understand and look for the connection between childhood trauma and behaviours of consumers presenting to health services.

Approximately 2.5 million Australian adults (13 per cent) have experienced abuse during childhood. Ensuring physical and emotional safety, empowering consumers, and instilling trust is part of the organisation’s transitional journey of embedding the principles of Trauma Informed Care into LHD routine practice. Service policy and procedure that enables passing of control and consumer choice, and supports staff to do so, will change the very culture of services, with service culture and caring practices being mutually embedded. Embedding universal application of TIA will positively transform all consumers’ experience of care.