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Managing the unmanageable: risk assessment and risk management in contemporary professional practice

Managing the unmanageable: risk assessment and risk management in contemporary professional practice

Journal of Nursing Management 7(4): 201-206

This study sets out to investigate the theories and practices of risk assessment and management in the context of contemporary mental health practice. Although risk assessment and management policies are well established for those working in the field of community mental health care, there are noticeable anomalies and regional variations, in the criteria, procedures and decision-making strategies used. Focus group taped interviews were conducted with over 100 mental health professionals in one NHS Trust. These were compared with an extensive literature review on the topic. The main theme to emerge was lack of resources, which included time and staff in the context of a changing and increasing workload. Another important theme was the lack of access to centralized and accurate information about mental health service provision. It is essential that professionals, clients, their families and the public feel confident in professional judgements and practices to avoid a 'back to the asylum' lobby, for the care and treatment of seriously mentally ill individuals.

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Accession: 046619206

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PMID: 10690073

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