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October 30, 2017

Secure Escort: Courses for Mental Health Escort Teams

Mental Health Escort Training

A leading ambulance mental health escort services firm asked our team to devise and deliver a series of training workshops for their mental health escorts. The training was to focus on the main violence flashpoints which these teams meet during the course of their work for mental health services.

The teams we train are tasked with providing secure transfers throughout the UK for adults, children and adolescents with mental health illness. Journeys have included:

• to and from low, medium and high secure psychiatric settings
• court escort and attendance for hearings including transfers to and from prisons and courts
• from police stations, A&E departments, 136 suites
• to and from outpatient appointments

The initial phase of the Secure Escort Restraint Training project included gathering of data and evidence to support which flashpoints the short CPD day would cover. As incidents often happen proximal to the vehicle or inside the vehicle used for transport then a very special set of tactics would be focused on during these training days because of the special environmental concerns and confined spaces involved. One interesting point about these teams was that the previous training they have received “off the shelf” was only partially fit for purpose and, surprisingly,  about 80% of the previous physical interventions training was not in use by this team.

Interesting points which came up during the Secure Escort Restraint Training course included the importance of the Initial Contact with the client, about Explaining Why and the ways in which the teams use Persuasion in their work to ensure that they use physical interventions as an absolute last resort.  The teams were adept at conflict resolution although they realised the need to Keep Learning!

Our approach was to observe the tactics this team had evolved over time because of the lack of “fit” from their previous training and to add our tactical advice overlaid on top of their practical experience and what works for them during their everyday work. Our team’s job was to ensure that the known risks Involved in restraint were not becoming part of the everyday practice of this team and that any efficiency benefits that our knowledge could bring to the team about specific tactical choices they were making could be brought to bear.   That’s how we made this a CPD event for Secure Escort Restraint Training – the idea was to springboard off a baseline of knowledge, coupled with the teams’ experiences and in-line with recommendations from recent high-profile cases.

Feedback from this team based on just one CPD training day was exceptional and the project is ongoing to upgrade these teams from their off-the-shelf training to a better and more “fit for purpose” system of work that they can use with confidence when control and restraint becomes necessary in their service.

More information about our Secure Escort Restraint Training course is available at the following webpage:

Secure Patient Transport Escort and Ambulance Staff

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Gerard O'Dea is the Director of Training for Dynamis. Training Advisor, Speaker, Author and Expert Witness on Personal Safety, Conflict Management and Physical Interventions, he is the European Advisor for Vistelar Conflict Management, a global programme focussing on the spectrum of human conflict.

Gerard O'Dea

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