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The guidance is based on a draft developed by the Royal College of Nursing and follows Mind’s campaign, launched last year, to end face down restraint and improve dangerous face down restraint practices in mental health hospitals, and for better training in and regulation of all types of physical restraint.
The guidance promotes approaches that reduce the use of restrictive practices and phase out the use of face down restraint, and outlines how organisations’ senior leaders need to be responsible and accountable.
The government is also launching guidance on health and social care staff development and training developed by Skills for Care and Skills for Health.
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:
“We are delighted to support the launch of this important guidance, which marks a significant step towards changing attitudes to restraint and ending face-down restraint.
“We know that healthcare staff do a challenging job and sometimes need to make difficult decisions very quickly. This is comprehensive guidance that looks to address the system as a whole, transforming cultures and attitudes so that difficult situations are less likely to arise and so that staff are supported to use alternatives to restraint when faced with challenging behaviour.
“When someone is in a mental health crisis they need help, not harm. Physical restraint can be humiliating, dangerous and even life-threatening and our own research indicates that some trusts are currently using it too quickly. We look forward to seeing this guidance implemented in health and social care services across England for the benefit of all people with mental health problems and the frontline staff who support them through crisis.”
Mind would like to thank everyone who shared their experiences of physical restraint through our campaign, took campaign actions and responded to the Royal College of Nursing’s consultation on the guidance. This is a significant success for our restraint campaign and for everyone involved.