South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is committed to delivering high quality, safe services and this policy describes the practice decisions and standards which our staff will provide when deploying the use of observation and engagement with service users in managing risk on our in-patient wards.
This observation and engagement policy covers all Trust staff on our in-patient wards across all directorates and divisions.
Observation is a specific skill used by a member of care staff as part of their day to-day duty in the care and assessment of service users under their care. The four levels of observation used by the Trust are:
Within Eyesight Constant Observation
Within Arms-length Constant Observation
Enhanced observation and engagement is an intervention used for the highest risk and often acutely ill patients; members of care staff are required to employ a range of skills to develop therapeutic relationships with patients on enhanced observations. Given this, enhanced observation should not be only be carried out by unqualified staff as this is likely to undermine its potential effectiveness.
All enhanced observations must be carefully planned alongside the activities that shall be engaged in during each period of care.