National policy template on supportive observation and engagement


This updated guide is an approved document by mental health nurse leaders and directors forum. This document has been developed to support trusts that are developing or updating their supportive observation/engagement policy.

Supportive observation and engagement practice is particularly challenging for all mental health service providers. 

The policy should guide a consistent and auditable approach to:

  • meeting individualised needs of service users
  • agreeing an appropriate level of observation based on the individual’s needs
  • reviewing the level of supportive observation
  • engaging with service users where enhanced observation is required

Those who may be subject to this policy framework need to be fully informed and be given the opportunity to discuss any concerns they may have with an appropriate member of the multi-disciplinary team.

Trusts should use their own discretion in adapting or making use of this template to fit their specific needs and local circumstances, and may also choose to amend existing procedures, so that relevant information relating to supportive observation/engagement is included within one overarching document.

This content has been submitted to our website by a member of our user community.

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