From Observation to Intervention

From Observation to Intervention is the new framework produced by the Scottish Patient Safety Programme's Mental Health – Improving Observation Practice team. 

The framework aims to help mental health staff deliver positive changes to the care they deliver.

Ready for download, the From Observation to Intervention framework aims to end the use of enhanced observation in its current format, replacing this practice with a framework of proactive, responsive and personalised care and treatment which focuses on prevention and early intervention in the context of a deterioration in a patient's mental health.

Positive change
The framework emphasises a change in traditional language used for observation, with a focus on 'general care' for all patients, 'continuous observation' for those patients requiring an increased level of support, and the 'clinical pause' to reflect on decisions made about interventions and patient care.

A change in the language used is needed to support a change in the culture, and reinforce the need for appropriate interventions, using individualised care plans with a more proactive and person centred approach to care.

The framework includes nine strands which will guide staff through the changes they can make to improve observation practice, within each strand there are case studies which demonstrate best practice, the voices of patients, carers and staff as well as practical suggestions for staff to implement.

It also contains the Change Action Package which will assist staff to plan how they are going to make the changes.

A service user commented:

"I saw it [enhanced observation] purely as a way of keeping me safe and saw any involvement in care planning as separate to that…"

Examples of what the nine strands cover are:

  • Involving carers and families in treatment, well being and recovery,
  • Supporting early recognition of and response to, deterioration, and to
  • Managing periods of continuous observation or support.

You can read more about the framework on the Improving Observation Programme web page, where you can also download the documents to start implementing the changes.