A handover occurs on a mental health ward when there is a changeover in shift. Using the ISBAR format, a nurse will generally provide the medical and allied health team with a handover for each consumer. A handover is necessary to ensure adequate transfer of information about a consumer’s strengths, treatment plans and care needs. It aims to reduce the incidence of harm to consumers and increase consumer safety, leading to improved consumer outcomes and experiences by improving the transfer of information, accountability and responsibility for consumer care (2).
Below you will find a handover given to medical and allied health staff by Katie, a registered nurse on the ward. Read the handover and answer the questions below.
Q. What do the terms underlined in this handover mean?
Q. How would you use this information to work safely with Braith today?
Aldrich R, Duggan A, Lane K, Nair K & Hill, KN (2009). ISBAR revisited: identifying and solving barriers to effective clinical handover in inter-hospital transfer – public report on pilot study. Newcastle: Hunter New England Health Available from: < (accessed on 23/11/2015)
Cathy Thomas, Eastern Suburbs Mental Health Service Clinical Operations Manager (2013) Mental Health Service Business Rule. South Eastern Sydney Health. Available from: (accessed on 23/11/2015)
Monday 23rd November, 2015. Handover delivered by Katie, RN:
Braith, 39 year old male with Schizoaffective Disorder.
Brought in by police on Section 22 on November 1st following complaints by neighbours of threatening and bizarre behavior. Since arrival he was initially aggressive, hostile, grossly thought disordered with paranoid ideation. Initially commenced on PRN antipsychotic whilst Clozapine reinstituted following period of non-compliance.
Braith has responded well to treatment and is now more settled and reports his thoughts being less erratic and his observed behavior consistent with this. He has been settled over the weekend and has complied with ward routine. He has been expressing concern re: his recent weight gain and this was listed by him as one of the reasons he became non-compliant with his current medication regime. His risk of aggression and violence is now low and he appears motivated to engage in interventions related to his overall wellbeing.