South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Trust required Anti-ligature works across 13 wards to improve patient safety.
South Staffordshire and Shropshire NHS Trust provides mental health, learning disability and specialist childrens’ services across South Staffordshire, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin. In 2016, we tendered a project to complete anti-ligature works across live hospital wards.
In some healthcare facilities, it is necessary to design rooms to eliminate points where cord, rope or bedsheet could create a method of hanging— known as a ligature.
We were appointed to undertake anti-ligature works to 13 live hospital wards within St George’s Hospital, Stafford.
The full extent of works included:
- Bathroom/shower room/WC replacements
- Door replacements
- Installation of radiator covers
- Changes to light fittings
We completed works to in-patient facilities, psychiatric intensive care wards and forensic services. These locations varied in risk from low to high.
We wanted to make sure our team and the patients felt safe during the works and so we provided additional mental health training at the various risk levels to our team. This included how to interact with patients, if approached, how to avoid agitating patients, and specific measures for each ward.
On site, we had four tradespeople, working in pairs, so we would not overwhelm the patients. We also kept the same team from start to finish so patients saw a ‘familiar face’ and felt safe.
We undertook additional steps to guarantee the safety of patients including:
- Having all operatives signed in and out of site.
- All tools checked in and out.
- No mobile phones taken on site and only two-way radios used for communication.
- The trust provided us with details of contraband items and information cards were made for our team.
We worked with key suppliers with experience of mental health facilities and of supplying materials to these types of facilities. Through joint surveys, the following types of anti-ligature fittings were assessed and recommended, if they had not already been specified:
- Load Release Anti Ligature
- Fixed Anti Ligature
- Weaponry Deterrents
The client was delighted with the results as well as our approach to the work and patient safety.
Since completion, the Trust have asked us to carry out additional works across their hospitals.