Our number one priority at Secure24 is always patient-centred care, and ensuring the safety of patients and others who use our service is of paramount importance to us. We pride ourselves on providing more than just transportation; we resolve to provide compassion, kindness and understanding when assisting service users who may be in a vulnerable state and experiencing mental health illnesses. 

Those who use Secure24 trust us to deliver secure ambulance transportation with the utmost care, and in today’s blog, we will explore our best practices and guidelines, which we adhere to to ensure every transfer is conducted safely and to the high standard we set for ourselves.

Initial Assessment

Before we begin each transfer, we conduct a thorough assessment of our patient’s mental health condition. This includes identifying any potential risks or vulnerabilities that need to be taken into consideration. Our escorting colleagues need to be made aware of any medication that the service user may require on the journey, or any special arrangements that need to be implemented to accommodate the patient. We need to assure that our colleagues are able to summon assistance quickly and effectively if needed, too.

Beyond a mental health risk assessment, our escorting colleagues need to be made aware of any physical healthcare needs. This can include visible impairments such as mobility issues or invisible healthcare needs like diabetes.

Communication

It’s imperative that we ensure clear and open communication between the transferring and receiving facilities, as well as with the patient and their family members or caregivers. By understanding specific needs or concerns, we can provide the high-quality care that Secure24 strives to provide to ensure the safety of patients in our care.

It’s important to acknowledge that this information can be highly sensitive, and we expect our colleagues to exercise sensitivity, compassion and empathy for the patient. This is something we cover in great detail during our team members’ training.

Clarity between all parties is vital for providing the best possible support for the individuals being transported. Not only can it make a potentially distressing situation a lot calmer, but it can also speed up the process and allow the patient to receive the treatment they need in a timely manner.

Safety Protocols

Even with a full assessment of the situation and open lines of communication throughout the process, there is an unavoidable likelihood that there will be potential risks or issues during a mental health ambulance transfer.

We implement rigorous safety protocols in order to address any potential risks during the transfer. These risks can include the patient conducting self-harm or aggressive behaviour towards themselves, their caregivers, or members of staff. Our protocols can include assigning an additional, dedicated team member to accompany the patient during transport and also having the appropriate safe intervention equipment on hand if escalation is required.

If we believe that the transfer is likely to require it, we will employ the use of our industry-leading secure ambulances with safe spaces. These include reinforced perspex panels that protect the driver and passenger from any possible disturbances during transport. 

The panels are made with Perspex screens in order to maintain safety while also providing the patient with a full, clear view of their surroundings, reiterating our commitment to preserving the patient’s dignity and safety in a secure environment and promoting inclusion.

Continuity of Care

The final step in ensuring the safety of patients throughout the process of their mental health referral transfer is to certify that continuity of care is provided. This includes providing the receiving facility with comprehensive information about the service user’s transfer observations, as well as any ongoing interventions that have/are taking place.

By handing over to our Ward Assist & Secure Care service we can help ease the workload on hospital staff, as well as maintain our high standards of patient-centred, secure care.

At Secure24, we’re dedicated to ensuring those in our care are transported to their receiving facility with the utmost safety, protection and dignity. We serve as a proud, reliable partner for secure care local authorities, NHS Trusts, ICBs, private healthcare providers, and other key organisations in need of secure mental health ambulance transport. The care of our service users is at the very heart of everything we do, and we strive to focus on the wellbeing and dignity of all those who come into our charge for however long it takes.

The approach we take towards what we do seeks to minimise the need for restraint by aligning to the standards of the restraint reduction network RRN or further intervention, prioritising calm, friendly and communicative behaviour in order to contribute positively to the mental health of our patients. Our team comprises trained healthcare assistants who are fully committed to going above and beyond to deliver the highest quality comfort, care and safety of patients and all those who need us.

Contact our control team at control@secure24.org.uk to book. 

If you need to contact us, you can do so by calling 0330 320 1159 or emailing us at info@secure24.org.uk.