Since October 2016, Safewards has been implemented at 18 mental health public services in Victoria, in 62 units, across all ages; and is currently embedded in the State as a best practice model and resource for reducing restrictive interventions. It has been included in the National Health Quality and Safety Standards, 2019, as a resource for predicting, preventing and managing aggression and violence.
In 2019, three emergency departments from Peninsula Health and Bendigo Health took part in the trial of Safewards in emergency departments. The project focussed on addressing conflict and containment events, for all staff, and all patients attending the emergency department.
With the evaluation recently completed, key findings established the model and some interventions have applicability in the emergency department. The trial demonstrated a combined reduction rate of 30% in code grey events, improved communication skills and collaboration between staff and patients. Significantly fewer medications were administered to manage aggressive behaviour. While the trial did not significantly reduce the rate of mechanical restraint, it did produce a significant effect in the reduction of the duration rate of mechanical restraint.