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Atrium Critical Incident Policy.

Atrium Critical Incident Policy

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Policy and Key Information


The purpose of this policy is to outline the response for Atrium Clinicians when a critical incident arises within their place of work.

What is a critical incident

Critical incidents as a whole are incidents and events of any scale outside of the usual business activity that can result in serious consequences. They can be both operational and non-operational. What follows are examples only and are not exhaustive:

  • operational
  • death of any person
  • serious injury to any person
  • hostage taking of any person
  • terrorist attack
  • attempt or threat of suicide or self-harm
  • arson
  • assault
  • escape from detention
  • encounter with serious crime
  • riot or public disorder
  • media presence or involvement
  • multi-agency “blue on blue” incident
  • industrial action
  • serious corruption or criminal acts
  • local security threat
  • non-operational:
  • pandemic
  • legal action
  • serious data breach
  • breach of procedure
  • corruption, misdemeanour, or crime
  • a specific high-profile case for example one involving public figures or one which brings the individual clinician, Atrium or place of work into adverse media attention.
Process of response

With any critical incident a dynamic risk assessment is to be conducted by clinician, to gain current and ongoing information, in line with policy, to ascertain risk to clients, self and others. Part of this risk assessment is to liaise with direct line manager.

Critical Incident Risk

Once a dynamic risk assessment has been conducted in line with policy and discussion with line managers, action, if necessary, can be taken by clinician if advised to by Atrium or by the Healthcare contractor or client agency. If clinician is unsure as to how to proceed within the scope of this and other policies they must liaise with line manager.

In this policy not all actions can be determined as a number of factors determine any action to be taken with varying critical incidents. The clinician is expected to discuss and agree appropriate action.

Operational Incidents

Within the scope of community settings, type of actions to be taken for operational incidents, such as self-harm or suicide attempts, corruption, assault, threats. These actions are in line with other relevant policies and action should be taken appropriately.

  • Email or telephone line manager /service lead first and pathway team for advice. If email mark important.
  • Clinical Supervision
  • Liaising with relevant teams and services to ensure risk and safety is coordinated.
Non-Operational Incidents

For non-operational incidents, actions to be taken in line with other training and policies

  • Email Line manager /mark important
  • Clinical Supervision

Those critical incidents out of the scope of these procedures are always to be discussed with line manager. Complete Critical incident form as a priority after notifying the manager/pathway team.

Accurate, complete, and detailed decision logs are crucial to the successful management of any critical incident. Every decision, however minor, must be logged by email ensuring that the rationale behind the decision is recorded accurately. At the conclusion of any incident, these logs will be made available to the officer conducting the debrief, and if appropriate, to the investigating authorities and the courts. There are practical difficulties of managing an incident whilst maintaining full and accurate notes therefore it is recommended that wherever possible clinicians are accurately reporting with support of supervisor in any incident. Clinician notes must be of a standard that would allow the someone to return to them up to 7 years later, and know why a decision was made, and defend that decision if necessary.

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642 London Road

Telephone: 01702-332857

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