Safety and security policies on psychiatric acute admission wards: results from a London-wide survey

  • L. Bowers, N. Crowhurst, J. Alexander, P. Callaghan, S. Eales, S. Guy, E. Mccann, C. Ryan
  • Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, August 2002, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2850.2002.00492.x

Safe mental health wards

Photo by William Bout on Unsplash

Photo by William Bout on Unsplash

What is it about?

To gain an understanding of current safety and security measures, a London- wide survey of acute admission wards was undertaken revealing a wide variety of measures and policies in operation.

Why is it important?

Results show that a significant proportion of acute admission wards are now locked at all times and a small proportion of units have 24-hour security/reception staff on-site and a low level of modern technology usage such as CCTV and electronic access systems. There is wide variation in items banned, restrictions placed on inpatients, and the searching of patients and visitors.


Dr Edward McCann
University of Dublin Trinity College

There is some preliminary evidence that these security policies are differentially associated with levels of absconding and violent incidents. Further research to guide practice is urgently required.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Edward McCann