Improving Observation Practice

The Scottish Patient Safety Programme–Improving Observation Practice (SPSP IOP) aims to extend and build on existing good practice in mental health services to provide an improved model of person-centred care that can be applied in any healthcare setting.

Aims of SPSP-Improving Observation Practice

  1. To produce a refreshed national observation practice guidance centred on human rights principles and recovery focussed practice.
  2. To ensure safe and reliable observation practice that values prevention, early recognition and response, in order to improve patient and family experience and reduce harm.

The revised guidance reflects a shift in mind-set based on emerging good practice within mental health inpatient culture and practice which utilises a proactive intervention based approach to care, treatment and safety based on prevention, early recognition and early response strategies to address potential or actual patient deterioration of health, wellbeing or risk. This approach applies proactively to all patients in the ward.

This guidance moves away from centralising the use of observation status to determine and describe the nature and extent of care, treatment and safety planning and associated intervention and interaction an individual requires. Instead care, treatment and safety planning is guided by the identified specific clinical needs of the individual.

We are working towards setting out a structure and framework for the multidisciplinary care team to work alongside people to ensure safety, promote recovery and reduce stigma.

From Observation to Intervention


From Observation to Intervention

Read From Observation to Intervention - a proactive, responsive and personalised care and treatment framework for acutely unwell people in mental health care.

Browse From Observation to Intervention

The impact of Our Work

Click here to view case studies, videos and animations describing the impact of this work across Scotland.

SPSP-IOP End of Phase Report

Phase 2 of the programme, which saw the expansion from 6 mainland board test sites to all mainland boards including The State Hospital Board for Scotland, ended March 2019. We are delighted to share that an End of Phase report is now available.

The report sets out a summary of the key activity in phase 2 of the programme and describes the next steps for phase 3.

Browse SPSP Improving Observation Practice End of Phase Report


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