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Isolation of Patients in Protected Rooms during Psychiatric Treatment *

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The Royal College of Psychiatrists was asked in November 1976 to consider the question of the appropriateness of recognizing psychiatric wards for nurse training by the General Nursing Council for England and Wales where it was the practice on such wards to isolate patients in old-style padded cells. This request led to considerable discussion concerning the management of disturbed, violent and dangerous patients, and the following comments were produced to define the issues raised.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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** 1. Nursing in isolation. Separation from other patients, but with ready access to a member of the nursing staff who should either be in the room or be within easy sight and sound.

2. The protected room—a specially designed room such that dangerous features can be removed or protected. Any furniture may need to be specially designed or removable. Windows should preferably be made of armour-plated glass but if this is not feasible, should be capable of being shuttered. Ideally such a room should be able to function as a normal bedroom since its special features would be unobtrusive.

3. The padded room—a special room in which the walls are covered with leather or other padding to prevent self injury.

* Approved by Council in June 1980.

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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0140-0789
  • EISSN: 2514-9954
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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