Deterioration in a person's mental state, recognising and responding to it
NSQHS Standard 8: Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration includes actions relating to deterioration in mental state in particular:
- 8.5 The health service organisation has processes for clinicians to recognise acute deterioration in mental state
- 8.6 The health service organisation has protocols that specify criteria for escalating care
- 8.8 The health service organisation provides the workforce with mechanisms to escalate care and call for emergency assistance
- 8.9 The workforce uses the recognition and response systems to escalate care
- 8.10 The health service organisation has processes that support timely response by clinicians with the skills required to manage episodes of acute deterioration
- 8.12 The health service organisation has processes to ensure rapid referral to mental health services to meet the needs of patients whose mental state has acutely deteriorated
The SA Health Accreditation Resource Standard 8: Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration identifies the resources that are available to support each action.
See also the NSQHS Clinician Fact Sheet Acute Deterioration and the ACSQHC report Recognising Signs of Deterioration in a Person’s Mental State
The National Consensus Statement
The National Consensus Statement: Essential elements for recognising and responding to deterioration in a person’s mental state is based on the following guiding principles:
- Members of the healthcare workforce are alert to the risk of deterioration in mental state for all people accessing health care, in all healthcare settings, at all times.
- Members of the healthcare workforce are able to recognise deterioration in a person’s mental state, initiate response, and escalate care to clinicians with mental health or other relevant expertise, either within the organisation, or through established partnerships with other organisations.
- Responding to deterioration in a person’s mental state includes comprehensive assessment of potential causes.
- Decision making is shared between the multidisciplinary team and the person. Family and carers are involved in accordance with the person’s expressed wishes.
- The response to deterioration in a person’s mental state is person-centred, culturally competent and recovery-oriented.
- The response to deterioration in a person’s mental state should minimise trauma to the person, their family and carers, or members of the healthcare workforce.
- The response to deterioration in a person’s mental state is consistent with legislation.