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Digital Subscriptions > Mental Health Nursing > AugSept 2018 > Using recovery staff in ECT: A services perspective

Using recovery staff in ECT: A services perspective

Andy Thompson Clinical team leader, ECT clinic, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust Kim Hardy Deputy sister, theatre recovery, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

Correspondence: andy.thompson@leicspart.nhs.uk

Abstract

This paper provides a brief description of the changes made to an ECT service to ensure that specialist recovery staff were included in the multidisciplinary team, and the effects this had on costs and service quality.

Key words

ECT, electro convulsive therapy, anaesthesia, recovery staff, service development, practice, treatment

Introduction

Electro convulsive therapy (ECT) is a treatment that is used to treat people with moderate to severe depression, catatonia and prolonged manic episodes (NICE, 2003). The treatment passes a current of low dose electricity across the brain in order to induce a modified seizure. The treatment is only given under a general anaesthetic and as such the clinics need to be appropriately resourced to deal with the unconscious patient and their recovery.

Thus the minimum staffing and types of staff needed to reflect the requirements of the treatment include the services of an anaesthetist, operating department practitioner, psychiatrist and ECT nurses.

Many ECT clinics use either their own staff or the ward escort staff to assist in the recovery of the person receiving the treatment.

At present there is only vague guidance outlined by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (Electroconvulsive Therapy Accreditation Service (ECTAS), 2015) regarding recovery standards, but this does not consider the depth of post-anaesthesia training that must be undertaken, how the competencies are assessed or the type of staff member that is required.

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About Mental Health Nursing

The August/September issue of MHN is a special themed edition on ECT, including: - The history and use of ECT in modern practice • Service user views • Using recovery staff in ECT anaesthesia • Student perspectives on ECT • The National Association for Lead Nurses in ECT • Interview with an ECT lead nurse • Organising a Twitter chat on ECT