Posted on: 4 April 2024

A new training course specifically tailored on the learning needs of staff working across inpatient services has launched.

Highly Enhanced Clinical Training for Inpatients Crews (HECTIC) is a 12-week course designed and co-delivered by Dr Micol Ascoli, Consultant Psychiatrist on Hazel Ward, The Campbell Centre based in Milton Keynes.

Dr Micol said: “Colleagues working within an inpatient environment face complex clinical and organisational dilemmas of a very different nature from those of the community setting. The teaching course actively challenges some common misconceptions about mental illness, psychiatric patients and staff roles, in order to try and generate some durable improvements in culture of care and practice, and hopefully increase work satisfaction.”

HECTIC is run across 12 weeks with service users and colleagues learning:

  • History taking and extraction of salient information at the point of admission/transfer
  • Mental state examination
  • Clinical risk assessment
  • Effectiveness and quality of handover
  • Communication with patients and within clinical teams
  • Consistency and quality of clinical documentation
  • Responding to incidents
  • Quality of Nursing Tribunal Reports
  • Professionalism and credibility while giving evidence at Tribunals/Managers Hearings
  • Effectiveness and quality of decision making at seclusion reviews
  • Giving evidence in Coroners’ Courts and writing reports for the Coroner

The course provides the chance to give repeated clarifications on difficult topics and to develop a process of continuous reflection and professional growth. 

Dr Ascoli says: “The teaching is based on real clinical material drawn from our inpatients caseload, anonymised extracts from electronic notes, learning points from previous incidents, Datix forms, Coroners and Tribunals reports, and clinical case presentations. The course is very interactive and hands-on, it requires presence, activity and responsiveness by the participants.”

If you are interested in joining the course as a team, please get in touch with Dr Micol Ascoli at