Despite the lack of a national standardised training scheme for dealing with violent patients, there are developments taking place in managing violence, writes Rob Grant

Here in North Staffordshire, a training course was developed in the mid-1990s (not unique across the country I know). The programme, called Managing Actual and Potential Aggression, takes into account not only the need to learn practical techniques in managing physical aggression but also to develop awareness of warning signs and to intervene early with de-escalation techniques.

In terms of accreditation, there is not much around. The training team has worked hard to become accredited by the British Institute of Learning Disabilities, one of the few institutions offering accreditation. The programme also meets the 2004 National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines regarding the management of violence and aggression (following the inquiry into psychiatric patient David Bennett's death), and the requirements for NHS security management service awareness training.

I hope you agree that, despite the lack of a national standardised training programme, this is a significant attempt to develop training, supported by best practice guidance and some accreditation. The picture is not, perhaps, as bleak as you suggest - however I do agree that the government needs to offer some kind of standardisation even if this is just an accreditation process.

Rob Grant, Productive Ward programme lead, North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare trust