Purpose – This paper aims to focus on staff injuries arising from incidents involving physical intervention (PI) with service users in a forensic, learning disability hospital. Design/methodology/approach – Incident reports and individual electronic patient records were analysed to review all incidents in which staff were injured from January‐September 2011. Findings – Injury rates for staff were consistently higher than those for service users over the nine month period. The majority of staff injuries happen as a result of an assault on staff by the service user either before PI is used (36.3 per cent) or during the PI process (47.6 per cent). The remaining 16.1 per cent of staff injuries occur as a result of accidents during PI (12.9 per cent) or re‐escalation of aggression after the incident (3.2 per cent). Very few (4.8 per cent) staff injuries are reported as “serious”. Most serious injuries are caused by kicks from service users. Kicks from service users are the highest cause of all staff injury. Research limitations/implications – This review is a retrospective analysis of incident reports and as such does not capture the richness of data which would be available in the planned qualitative piece of research. Practical implications – The findings of this review can be used to inform aspects of physical intervention training which may be tailored to specifically address areas where staff are at increased risk of injury. Originality/value – This review is unique in the available literature in highlighting the point at which the injury occurs during the PI process.
Journal of Learning Disabilities and Offending Behaviour – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 9, 2012
Keywords: Incidents; Physical intervention; Staff injury; Learning disabilities; United Kingdom; Mental health services
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