Ligature Attachment Point Environmental Safety Audits
The National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England (DoH 2002) set the standard that likely ligature anchor points in mental health service in-patient environments must be removed or covered. As a development all Mental health trusts and private care providers complete environmental suicide risk assessments & management plans to mitigate the risks across inpatient areas to ensure patient safety.
Without specific knowledge and training many care providers find it difficult to understand whether the safety products they have fitted are installed correctly and working properly. We have found that poor or incorrect fitting of these products is often the norm with little or no post installation planned preventative maintenance. Over the last twenty years ligature resistant products have developed at pace and many early products fitted have been superseded or are now beyond their useful life.
Our team of experts can provide a detailed safety audit which will:
- Identify and itemise the make and model of reduced ligature equipment fitted in inpatient areas
- Examine whether the reduced ligature items have been fitted correctly in accordance with manufacturers fitting instructions
- Comment on the age and condition of the ligature resistant products fitted within the environment
- Report on gaps between fitted products and the substrate they are attached to
- Provide a condition report on all items fitted within each area including loose furniture
- Identify fittings including loose furniture that are unsuitable for the patient group, stating why this is so?
- Examine the suitability of fixings used to mount products
- Examine patient garden areas for ligature issues and wider safety concerns
- Doors including mechanical locks, override systems, removable doorstops, hinges, closures, doorstops, and vision panels.
- Widows, blinds, curtain rails and curtains
- Radiator covers and heat panels
- Fitted furniture including bedroom furniture, TV protection cabinets, tables, and seating (Beds, wardrobes, etc)
- Lighting (surface mounted and flush fitted)
- Ensuite doors & frames
- Sanitary ware including WC, basin shower, drain covers, vents and extraction, shower rails, IPS panels, Grab rails and other Doc M equipment
- Washroom fittings: e.g. toilet roll holder, paper towel dispenser, soap dish, shelves, coat hooks etc
- Art installations
- Lines of sight / blind spots
Audits can include, bedrooms bathrooms and toilets, corridors, day areas, dining rooms, activity rooms, lounges, visitors’ rooms, patient consulting rooms.
As well as auditing the environment the report will identify high risk areas of concern to assist in focussing resources toward creating a safe environment. In addition, we will also be happy to identify suitable products and remedial actions to address any issues found.
Types of Survey Available
- Full Audit of Inpatient Areas: An examination of each room identified by the care provider. Purpose: to identify the physical state of the care environment including the products fitted and how they are functioning. The audit will assist care providers in developing remedial work required to help create a safer environment and to in specifying products and work required for refurbishment or upgrade
- Health Safety Check: This report examines critical areas on each unit within a mental health hospital with terms of reference tailored to the clients needs. This could be to examine a hospital prior to commissioning or as a preventative measure where safety concerns have been raised. As well as auditing the physical environment we can co-develop bespoke terms of reference to triangulate our physical findings with, policy and procedures, staff training to identify any gaps in current practice.
Full Audit: (minimum x10 rooms)
- Bedroom (including ensuite) = £150 per room
- Bedroom (excluding ensuite) Bathroom / WC or shower room = £100 per room
- Lounge / day area/ dining room / activity room / garden Area / £75 per room
- Final Report including photos and spreadsheet = £500
Based on a 10-bedroom unit each with ensuite with a lounge, dining room, garden area including a separate disability bathroom and WC the cost would be £1925 (Audit) + £500 (Report) = £2425 + VAT
Safety Health Check: POA