Posted on May 26, 2016

The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) has hosted a webinar discussing effective strategies to reduce the use of restraints and seclusions to treat mental illness. The webinar formed  part of the ‘Safer Care Accelerator’ series organised by the Leading Health Systems Network (LHSN), a WISH initiative that shares best practice and inspires health systems worldwide to provide safer care for patients.

Hosted by Dr Muhammad Waqar Azeem (pictured), Inaugural Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Sidra Medical and Research Center and Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar (WCM – Q), the WISH webinar highlighted how physical and mechanical restraints and seclusions are used in child and adolescent psychiatric treatment venues as a means of managing aggressive and self-harming behaviour. Dr Waqar spoke about how these measures can produce unintended harm.

“These procedures can be aversive and traumatising for patients, and in the worst case scenarios, deaths have been reported,” Dr Waqar said. “Hence, it’s important to develop programmes leading to prevention of these interventions. This webinar reflects on core strategies used to prevent and reduce restraints and seclusions, leading to improved safety and provision of trauma-informed care.” Egbert Schillings, CEO of WISH, a global initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), said: "Mental health is too often overlooked by health systems despite a marked increase in mental health conditions worldwide. It is therefore especially noteworthy that we are able to avail of the expertise offered by Dr Waqar in addressing patient safety and mental health."

Established in 2009, LHSN has worked with 25 health systems in more than a dozen countries to help them overcome challenges in providing high-value care to the populations they serve. Members of the LHSN compare performance relative to their peers, learn from experts and frontline implementers during webinars, and are active members of a community committed to innovation in healthcare. LHSN is based at Imperial College in London and has partnered with WISH to improve healthcare policy around the world. So far, 18 organisations spanning six continents have joined the effort, including Hamad Medical Corporation and Sidra Medical and Research Center in Qatar.

WISH launched the LHSN ‘Safer Care Accelerator’ programme to share best practice and inspire health systems worldwide to provide safer care for patients. The initiative brings together a global network of healthcare organisations to exchange insights, experiences and data on the topic of patient safety, culminating in the publication of a global report. The 2016 WISH Summit will take place from 29th – 30th November in Doha, Qatar.