Providing a duty of care to mental health patients with an anti ligature TV enclosure
Up to date health and safety training, in the mental health sector, includes the many issues around anti ligature or non loop furniture, including specific items like televisions. Whilst there is no doubt TVs are a way of life – some may point out it is a basic human need, others insist it is far from the top of the ‘needs’ list. But a television set does provide informative and educational viewing as well as entertainment. Whether the governor, or boss of an institution allows for additional channels is a matter for them to decide, as it is controversial in the first place.
Protecting the screen with an anti ligature TV enclosure
The problem lies when a patient considers self harm and looks for the nearest and easiest way to perform this. The most probable choice is to hang from a wall mounted TV set. So the most logical answer is to enclose the screen with an anti ligature TV enclosure. To be fair, many hospitals are very aware of ‘at risk’ patients and their close supervision whilst in acute clinical care.
Over the past 4 years, 50 hospital patients in Scotland UK, have taken their own lives through suicide, using various methods (not just hanging from a TV). These could have been avoided. Risk assessments are routinely carried out, yet points are missed or put on a ‘to do’ list, without further action being taken. It does not matter if a television is in a community room or private room – the risks are still the same. Yes, there are points which can be avoided or alternatives put in place, but items like bedding; in particularly sheets are one of the worse culprits and most effective for creating a loop for a ligature. Finding a ligature point, in a room is usually something like a wall mounted television; the wall bracket can take a substantial weight and is usually high up enough on the wall to take the full weight of a person. Even if the TV was lower down – midway up the wall, it is still possible to hang.
But not only are ligature points cause for self harm, televisions which are not fixed securely to a surface are cause for concern – smashing a screen provides a shard of glass to use as a weapon or even picking the television up and throwing it across the room is an avoidable hazard.
For the most informative advice and experienced, accredited and preferred choice for installers of an anti ligature TV enclosure for architects projects, contact lcdtvenclosure.com
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