To assess safe practice in psychiatry and self-perceptions of safety among trainees (Senior House Officers (SHOs) and Specialist Registrars (SpRs)) and consultants, a questionnaire was sent out to all general adult and old age psychiatrists, including trainees, in a teaching hospital and a district general hospital in East Anglia.
A total of 29 SHOs, 11 SpRs and 27 consultants were approached (response rate 92%). In the past year 69% SHOs, 45% SpRs and 11% consultants attended breakaway training. Interview rooms were frequently below the Royal College of Psychiatrists' standards; 87% of the rooms did not have a panic button and 62% were isolated. Most doctors had felt threatened over the past 6 months but only 31% carried a personal alarm. Despite similar frequencies of assaults, consultants felt safer at work than trainees.
Safety is important for doctors throughout their careers and should be regularly reviewed by individuals as well as audited by hospital trusts.
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