Safety in acute mental health settings

About The Safety in Mental Health Settings project

The Safety in Mental Health settings project is a pan-London project focused on addressing issues of violence and aggression within acute care and PICU and in supporting staff skills development. The project is sponsored by the Cavendish Square Group of all London mental health trusts.  Our aims are to explore the issue of violence and aggression on adult acute care wards and PICU across London, to share learning and to recommend safety improvement interventions which will help to improve best practice, and make services safer for all who work in these services and use these services.

The project was established in September 2019 and our current programme of work completes end of January 2023.

What project work have we completed so far ?

We have completed a number of project initiatives including:

  • An analysis of incidents of violence and aggression, and including a thematic review of 30 serious incidents
  • An exploration and report on the views of service users and their experience of violence and aggression in acute care settings
  • A successful pilot of the See Think Act Framework for relational security in CNWL, Oxleas, SWL&StG and additional See Think Act Framework work in C&I and NELFT
  • The development and dissemination of a position statement on a Trauma Informed Approach in acute care services

Current programme

Our current project work has been funded by Health Education England and NHS England/Improvement and involves a 12 month programme which will be independently evaluated. The programme includes:

  1. LEAD Safely - An Integrated leadership for safety programme, aimed at service level and clinical leaders
  2. A See Think Act facilitator training and development programme and an acute care See Think Act Framework toolkit to strengthen relational security
  3. Supporting trauma informed approach developments
  4. Building an acute care community of practice to share learning, support networking and sustainability

Codesign and coproduction

We are committed to involving colleagues with lived experience in all aspects of our project. We have established a lived experience advisory group and involved lived experience colleagues in codesign and codelivery of our training programmes and project interventions.


We are working in close collaboration with a range of partners including the London Psychological Professions Network (PPN), the London AHSN mental health patient safety networks, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

SiMHS project workspace 

More information about the project can be found on our NHS Futures workspace. This is also a network for sharing of learning and communicating with project colleagues. The workspace can be found here:


The project is being independently evaluated by the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH) and their final report is expected in January 2023.

Useful Contacts: