A 10-day web-based training course on psychiatric intensive care is aimed at improving services for the most vulnerable patients.

The mental health intensive care training course is taught by intensive care practitioners for the purpose of enhancing care in mental health intensive care environments.

The course was developed by the National Association of Psychiatric Intensive Care Units, South West London and St George's Mental Health trust and Kingston University. The course is aimed at all practitioners in mental health intensive care environments. The module spans 10 days and provides 30 credits at either level two or three. The course provides an introduction to the skills and attributes required by staff working in mental health intensive care environments, who will be looking after people at the most distressing and vulnerable stage of their illness.

The syllabus was informed by a number of serious untoward incidents, through a process of nationwide consultation with clinical service providers and leaders in the field of psychiatric intensive care, and by service users' views.

The course is taught by expert practitioners in mental health intensive care, who provide and develop services across psychiatric intensive care, low and medium secure facilities and forensic services. The course teachers are drawn from a range of professional backgrounds, including psychology, nursing, occupational therapy and medicine. Teaching staff work across a number of different organisations, including NHS, private sector and academic institutions.

Issues explored in the course include:

  • incorporating recovery approaches within intensive care;
  • successful engagement;
  • practical provision of talking treatments;
  • person-centred risk assessment and management;
  • supporting users thinking about medication;
  • social, environmental and ethical considerations;
  • looking beyond violence and aggression;
  • understanding the needs of staff.

The course is being developed as a web-based learning programme so staff from many mental health intensive care environments across the country will eventually be able to access high-quality, evidenced-based thinking about innovative and cutting edge approaches to providing intensive care.

For further information, visit www.napicu.org.uk