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Inaugural International Safewards Day celebrated at Frankston Hospital

Carol, Nurse Unit Manager Kim Heriot and Anna Love (centre) with the staff who have played a key role in the implementation of the Safewards model. 

Carol Martin knows firsthand how much the Safewards model is having a positive impact on patients and families.

“The staff on ward 5GS were wonderful with my husband, who had an acquired brain injury,” explains Carol.

“They helped him become more normalised and grounded in the world.”

“They were so kind and caring, they would even take him to get hot chips, his favourite food.”

The Safewards model aims to create a welcoming, calmer environment for patients and their families. It trains staff to identify points of care that may trigger a conflict response, or an issue around communication, and then use a targeted intervention to prevent this conflict from arising.

The inaugural International Safewards Day was celebrated at Frankston Hospital on 10 July.

“If ever there was a place to launch International Safewards Day it is Peninsula Health,” says Anna Love, Victoria’s Chief Mental Health Nurse, who visited Peninsula Health to mark the occasion.

“Peninsula Health really have embraced the model much broader than anybody else across the state because of the work you have done here on 5GS and also in the ED. I want to thank you for that because you are showing such great leadership across the state.”

5GS Nurse Unit Manager Kim Heriot says the data her team have collected about Safewards, since they rolled out the model in April 2017, showed that the ward is now a safer place for patients, families and staff.

“It is less restrictive and we see less episodes of aggression on the ward.”

“The model has enabled us to better connect to each other, which includes our patients. It is with great satisfaction and pride that we are able to see the difference the model has made on the ward and further potential to keep evolving.” Kim says.