Lynne Maskill is LYPFT’s CPA and Risk Trainer, as an occupational therapist with a clinical background in Mental Health, Lynne talks about safety and risk and poses some pertinent questions about current challenges…..
Understanding someone’s risk and helping people keep safe is a key part of working with people in mental health services. Developing and agreeing a risk management plan with the person, and where possible with carers is central, not forgetting, who is responsible for what, what helps and what does not. So, all straight forward in terms of good practice and sounding like a risk trainer?
But actually to what extent are practitioners actually sharing the plans with people they are about? How do risk management plans connect with care plans and crisis plans? Some practitioners have said to me that a risk management plan tends to be more service focused, letting staff know what they need to do to prevent or minimise harm, whereas a well-developed crisis plan is a way of helping the person using services manage their distress or increase in symptoms. Is this also not about safety, reduction in harm, risks in relapse? Furthermore how do crisis plans fit with wellness and recovery action plans? … and advance statements?
I could go on but the point I am getting to is, are we making things too complicated? How do we plan and document how we are working with people around safety in a way which is meaningful and as inclusive as possible to the person , supports recovery, lets staff know what they need to do and how best to help ……….and if possible reduce time at a computer?