Department of Health

Clear mutual expectations

  • 13 September 2016

Some of the difficult and challenging behaviour you may see displayed on the ward is in part due to lack of consistency or lack of clarity about what the expectations are.

This intervention is about clarifying the expectations for everyone, so staff can be consistent and everybody understands what can be expected of them. The Clear Mutual Expectations Intervention is one of those that seems, on the surface, quite an easy and simple thing to introduce but, in reality, it’s actually one of the longest interventions, in terms of implementation periods.

The interesting thing about this intervention was that staff were clearly not very clear about what the expectations were, so this was a nice opportunity to revisit that, in a sense. Obviously, the key part in this intervention was how consumers were involved. So, typically, consumers would be – there would be a group facilitated, where they would decide what they expect of the staff that work in this unit but, also, what can be expected of them, as a group of people.

To get an agreed list was something that needed a lot of support from the champions locally and using other interventions to incorporate this one. So, using the mutual help meeting to introduce and talk about the mutual expectations.

With the consumers, they have come up with a list that they agree with then, obviously, those two lists need to be merged together and part of that process should, again be facilitated, as much as it can, with consumer consultants, peer workers and the idea is that a list is formed that is mutually agreed between the group of staff at the time and the group of consumers, as best they can.

Obviously, recognising that that can change. The nice thing about this intervention is the conversations that should come from having this list displayed. It could form part of people’s welcome to the unit.

This is what you could expect from being a consumer here and this is also what you could expect if you’re spending time here.

Reviewed 21 November 2023